A Spanish team without the services of its captain, Juan Carlos Navarro, struggled with Australia early, but Rudy Fernandez and Pau Gasol put the game out of reach before a late Australian run made the scoreline a respectable 82-70 win for Spain.
The Spanish are now 2-0, the Australians are now 0-2. The Boomers are clearly in the bottom three of their group with Great Britain and China -- whichever squad can emerge as the best of those three teams will advance to the group stage.
As crazy as it sounds, Spain's trio of NBA big men struggled early with the Boomers' front line composed of Aron Baynes and David Andersen, who you might remember from his stints with the Rockets, Raptors and Hornets. The Aussies earned an early six-rebound advantage while Spain shot 5-for-19 in the first quarter, allowing Australia to lead 19-14.
Then, things started to click for the Spanish, as they would go on to hit seven of their next 11 threes -- four of five from Fernandez, and even a three-ball from the shortened line by Gasol -- to pull away from the Australians. When the shots started falling, everything else starting falling into place as well: Australia tried chucking threes -- tried, they were 3-for-18 at one point after a 4-for-22 performance against Brazil -- and before long, the Spanish had shown their stuff as one of the top teams in the tournament and led by 20.That 20-point lead would shrink to 10 as Australia made a run against some Spanish reserves, but the game was never really in question.
Gasol finished with 20, while Fernandez had 17 on four threes. Marc Gasol added 12 points and seven rebounds. Credit goes to former St. Mary's guard and current San Antonio Spur Patty Mills as well as Barcelona's Joe Ingles for finding their way into double digits for Australia, and to current St. Mary's guard Matthew Dellavedova for hooking up with Baynes on a pair of alley-oops, one dunked, one tapped into the hoop.