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Boomers ready for GB after first win
By Steve Jancetic
23:42 AEST Thu Aug 2 2012

The Boomers say they'll be ready for a winner-takes-all men's basketball clash with hosts Great Britain after finally getting their Olympics campaign off the ground in an 81-61 win over China.

Needing a victory to keep their hopes of making the knockout round alive after two early losses, Australia silenced China's NBA star Yi Jianlian and withstood a long-bomb barrage from Wang Shipeng to run out comfortable winners on Thursday.

It means Saturday's clash with Great Britain is pivotal - with the winner of that game likely to finish fourth in group B and edge into a knockout date with the mighty American team.

Boomers guard Patty Mills finally found some shooting touch to pour in a team-high 20 points, but it was the work of big men David Andersen (17 points), Matt Nielsen and Mark Worthington to limit Yi which proved the difference.

Yi went into the game averaging more than 23 points, but was held to just 13 by Australia's three-headed monster.

"This win puts a bit of emphasis on the Great Britain game," said Andersen

"We have to bring our game again and beat a good team in Great Britain.

"Hopefully we can build on this win that we've had."

Added coach Brett Brown: "It's just good to get back on the winning side of things and we start to be rewarded for all the work these guys have put in over the past few years.

"Inch by inch we're trying to get a little bit better and we did that today."

Wang, who hit seven of 10 three-pointers, but a 17-3 second quarter run gave Australia a 49-33 halftime advantage.

Wang again caught fire with three straight bombs as China closed to within nine, but with Yi ineffective, China's offence went cold as they failed to score for the first five minutes of the last period by which time Australia had an unassailable 18-point lead.

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