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Patty Mills rates win among best ever
Guy Hand
08:17 AEST Sun Aug 5 2012

Patty Mills' incredible 39 points isn't the biggest haul by an Australian basketballer at an Olympic Games.

But it could be the most important.

Mills proved the difference over the course of an extraordinary game as the Boomers booked a Games quarter-final berth with a remarkable come-from-behind smashing of Great Britain on Saturday.

Australia looked like they were about to be embarrassed and sent packing from the Games, until Mills exploded with a 15-point third quarter on his way to the highest points-score in a single game at this year's Olympics.

While it surpassed fellow NBA player Carmelo Anthony's 37 points scored in the United States' huge win over Nigeria earlier in the week, Mills couldn't topple Ed Palubinskas' 48-point haul for Australia at the 1976 Montreal Olympics.

It was also well short of the most points scored in a single Olympics match - Brazilian legend Oscar Schmidt's 55 in the Seoul Games on a losing team.

Mills wasn't as excited about the personal implications as he was for the team's - sending the team into the second stage with one preliminary match remaining.

The NBA guard rated the win - in which Australia fought back from 15 points down in the third term to win 106-75 - as among the best of his career.

"To play for your country on this biggest stage, the importance of that game was unbelievable, so to come away with a win - that's up there with the best," Mills said of the win.

"That's what we play for, that's what I play for."

Mills held Australia together as the Brits outplayed them early, then was the catalyst as the Boomers had to find something extraordinary to launch themselves into the quarter-finals.

They are now likely to play the United States in the quarters if the Dream Team top the other Games group.

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