Sport Boomers’ second-half blitz crushes Argentina in basketball quarter-final
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Boomers’ second-half blitz crushes Argentina in basketball quarter-final

Joe Ingles lauds Australian teammate Nathan Sobey in the second half on Tuesday night. Photo: Getty
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Dante Exum has exploded as Australia beat Argentina 97-59 to set up a mouth-watering Olympic basketball semi-final date with the United States.

The livewire’s nine points on Tuesday night included a ferocious dunk to begin a dominant 37-11 final quarter as the Boomers overcame a cold start to sprint into the final four.

A nervy Australia led the quarter-final by six at half-time and 12 at the final break, then scored the first 19 points of the fourth term to send a statement ahead of its Thursday date with the three-time defending Olympic champions.

Matisse Thybulle (12 points, five rebounds, three steals) was instrumental in overturning an early eight-point deficit, while 41-year-old Argentinian talisman Luis Scola (seven points) was benched for the entire third term after hitting early foul trouble.

Patty Mills led all scorers with 18 points while Nick Kay finished with 10 points and 10 rebounds.

The Boomers have never medalled in an international tournament, many of this current crop involved in gutting fourth-place finishes at the 2019 World Cup an 2016 Rio Games.

Standing in their way of gold is the United States, which they beat in an exhibition game last month.

The US also lost its Games opener to France, but has improved with every game and booked its spot in the final four by beating Spain behind a red-hot Kevin Durant.

In his fifth and final Games campaign, Scola was given a rousing reception as he checked out late in the final quarter.

-AAP