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Australia hammer Lithuania to reach Semi-Finals for first time in 16 years
RIO DE JANEIRO (Rio 2016 Olympic Games) - Australia cruised past Lithuania, 90-64, in Wednesday's first Quarter-Final of the Olympic Basketball Tournament to advance to the Semi-Finals for the first time in 16 years.
The Boomers last reached the Semi-Finals in 2000, when the Olympics took place on home turf in Sydney. They will take on the winners of the Quarter-Final between Croatia and Serbia.
Dellavedova knocked down a buzzer-beating three-pointer for a 26-17 advantage to end the opening quarter and the Oceania champions headed to the locker room at halftime up 48-30.
Aron Baynes took over the scoring duties in the third quarter and the Boomers scored the last 11 points of the period to head into the final frame up 70-43, making the closing 10 minutes a mere formality.
Turning Point: Mills and Dellevadova accounted for 8 of the first 10 points in the second quarter to give Australia their first double-digit, 31-19. Minutes later, Damian Martin connected with Andrew Bogut for an alley-oop dunk that made it a 36-20 scoreline. Australia were on their way to a convincing win.
Stats Don't Lie: Lithuania never led.
Hero: Australia's starting backcourt of Mills and Dellevadova outscored Lithuania's one of Mantas Kalnietis and Renaldas Seibutis 31-8 over the first two quarters and that was pivotal in the way the game unfolded. With Australia comfortably ahead and in command, Dellevadova didn't score in the second half. Mills added to his tally, finishing with a game-high 24 points.
The Bottom Line: In beating Lithuania, Australia knocked out the country that denied them bronze medals at the 1996 and 2000 Olympics. With the loss, Lithuania have now failed to make it to the Semi-Finals for the second Olympics in a row. They had reached that stage of the competition at every Games from 1992 to 2008.
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