In a preparation game for the Tokyo Olympics, Team USA lost against Australia in Las Vegas 83-91. And for probably the first time since NBA players began suiting up for the national team, they heard boos when a game ended — on home soil, no less.
Dating to the 2019 World Cup, where they finished seventh, Team USA has lost four of its past five games. It also has lost two in a row now to Australia; a team expected to contend for the gold in Japan.
It was a better showing than the loss to Nigeria on Saturday, but just reading those words is a little mind-boggling considering the pedigree of this roster and coaching staff. Their chemistry and execution, particularly in late-game situations, is holding the Americans back in their early stages of defending their title.
Patty Mills scored 22 points, and Australia held the U.S. without a field goal for the final 4:34. Joe Ingles scored 17 points, Matisse Thybulle scored 12, and Chris Goulding had 11 for Australia.
Damian Lillard led the U.S. with 22 points, while Kevin Durant scored 17 and Bradley Beal finished with 12. But the Americans wasted a 10-point second-half lead and have dropped back-to-back games for just the third time since NBA players began wearing the red, white, and blue in 1992.