Patty Mills ended Russia's hopes of going unbeaten in Group B by drilling a last-second buzzer beater to give Australia an 82-80 win.
The St. Mary's product and current San Antonio Spur has not-so-quietly been having a great tournament for Australia. He put up a tournament-high 39 points against Great Britain and is fourth in scoring average with 20.2, but had been having a mediocre game with only 10 points when he got the ball at the top of the key on Australia's final possession. Mills has always been a gunner, and had no qualms about nailing the look to give the Boomers the win.
Here's video of Mills' shot on Australian TV:
As you can see, it's a nicely drawn-up play by Brett Brown, Australia's head coach and an assistant for the Spurs. Mills inbounds the ball to Joe Ingles, comes off an off-ball screen to receive a very nice cross-court feed from the post by Ingles for the open look.
Australia took the early lead with a 29-point first quarter and entered the half up one on the strength of 5-for-5 combined three-point shooting by David Andersen and St Mary's player Matthew Dellavedova, who scored all 10 of his points before the break. But its leader was Ingles, who plays for Real Madrid, who had a team-high 20 points including seven straight in the third quarter. A team effort had Australia up 79-73 with minutes to play, but Russia ran off seven straight, including an and-one for Andrei Kirilenko and two clutch free throws by Vitaly Fridzon, who was foolishly fouled with 4.1 seconds. That had the Russians up one with 4.1 seconds left.
Russia was undefeated thanks to a thrilling finish of its own against Brazil -- Shved had actually missed two free throws to leave the Russians in need of a Fridzon three to give them a 75-74 win -- but wouldn't have the same luck here, as Mills calmly put away the game with the clock expiring.
Ingles led the Aussies with 20 points, while Mills and Andersen had 13 each. On the Russian side, former Kansas center Sasha Kaun led the team with 18 points, while the Timberwolves' pairing of Kirilenko and Alexei Shved each had 13 points and six rebounds.
Unfortunately for Australia, the win doesn't mean a great deal: at 3-2 with losses to both 3-1 teams in Group B, the team was guaranteed to finish fourth and heads toward a quarterfinals matchup with the No. 1 team -- that would be the United States. But the thrilling win can't hurt their morale and showed they could earn a W against top competition. The story is similar for the Russians, who were guaranteed the top spot in the group after winning all four of their games to start the tournament -- with the loss, Team USA has the opportunity to be the only undefeated team in group play.