Throw it down big fella!
It's been a pretty uneven Olympics for Andrew Bogut and Australia, but at least they're trying to finish on a high note. Last night Bogut scored 22 (8/13 fg, 2/3 3fg, 4/6 ft) along with eight boards in a comprehensive 95-80 (recap) win over Andrei Kirilenko and the European Champion Russians. With the win Australia is now 2-2 and sitting third in Group A, clinching a trip into the quarterfinal round. That was the goal coming into the games, so congrats to the Boomers on making it out of a difficult group that featured five very solid teams.
Australia controlled the game throughout, withstanding a number of runs by a Russian team that made 12/27 threes and got 21 points from Victor Khryapa (7/8 fg) and 20 from J.R. Holden. And as well as Bogut played offensively, he also surrendered 16 to Russian big man Alexei Savrasenko.
Aside from Bogut, the Aussies also got 22 from mercurial combo guard C.J. Bruton and a total of 30 from their big man troika of David Andersen, Matt Nielsen, and Chris Anstey. And as is usually the case, the Aussies' success hinged largely on a good night from three point range, making 11/24 from distance--with even Bogut calmly knocking 2/3 threes (with defenders around, too).
Australia's final group game will be on Monday when they take on undefeated Lithuania, but don't think they'll be content to limp into the quarters. Bogut knows they have a major incentive to upset the Lithuanians.
"We have one more game in hand," Bogut said. "We want to beat Lithuania. If we don't win that game, we know it's a (quarter-final) match-up against the United States."
My expert recommendation: beat the Lithuanians, Drew.