There were once again two San Antonio Spurs dressed for action, but only one found glory at the end of the exhibition. Patty Mills led all scorers with 30 points on a game-high 4 three-pointers while leading the Aussies to a historic upset on their home court.
Derrick White, on the other hand, was not so lucky. Although the third-year guard made the most of his limited minutes with 8 points on 7 trips to the charity stripe, his night was cut short by a scary fall late in the fourth quarter.
Derrick White left the game after this scary fall.— Noah Magaro-George (@N_Magaro) August 24, 2019
He walked off the court without help and headed back to the locker room with a member of the United States training staff.
This is why international injuries are such a major concern for front offices. pic.twitter.com/hk2FQKzMZU
Australia fought tooth and nail and trailed the United States by just one point going into halftime. Mills was held to six points through two quarters, but Joe Ingles, Andrew Bogut, Aron Baynes and some incredibly physical team defense kept the Boomers neck and neck with the Americans.
Team USA built a ten-point cushion in the third quarter, but the Australians came roaring back to take the lead. Patty exploded for 24 points in the second half, including 13 in the final frame, and carried his team to their first-ever victory over the United States.
There has been no update on Derrick White’s apparent head injury, but one has to imagine San Antonio’s front office would like to see him head home to rest and recover. At least that seems like the smart choice considering how hard injuries hit the Spurs during the 2018-2019 season.
The third-year guard never came back to the floor following his early exit and his days with the National Team may be numbered. Marcus Smart was inserted into the starting lineup in his return to action and led the U.S. in assists despite playing only 9 minutes.
The surprise defeat snapped a 78-game winning streak in major international exhibitions for Team USA and marked their first loss since they fell to Greece in the semi-finals of the 2006 FIBA World Championship.
The United States will now aim to reset before they embark upon their journey for a Gold Medal at the 2019 FIBA World Cup. Their final exhibition will take place August 26th at 7:30 PM (4:30 AM CT) when they take on Canada at Qudos Bank Arena in Sydney, Austalia.