Thon Maker made a statement in his bid to return to the NBA with a strong performance in Australia’s first game in the 2022 Asia Cup in Jakarta.
Maker led the team from the front playing 24 minutes, leading all scorers with 23 points. Backing his scoring effort up, Maker also had eight rebounds, two assists, and a block.
Despite struggling early on in the game from the three-point line, after a few shots Maker found his groove and there was no stopping him after that. Maker did not stand alone for the Boomers, he was backed up by strong performances from Sam Froling and Will McDowell-White.
Froling had 16 points and eight rebounds while White had seven points, four rebounds, seven assists and two steals.
Australia played a high intensive style of basketball from the opening tip, its pressure defensively was right on Jordan, giving it no room to make shots. It was a very clean and disciplined defence that saw the first foul being called on Australia after 13 minutes of play.
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On the offensive end, Australia wasted no time, taking shots early and not wasting time and draining the shot clock. The tactic worked well and at the halftime break, the Boomers held a 26-point lead.
They had the game set up for a win, all they had to do was maintain the defensive pressure to hold their lead.
It was the Thon Maker show again in the third term, blocking shots and grabbing defensive rebounds. The Boomers were quiet on the scoreboard for the first few minutes but when the points did come it was Maker again who got the Boomers going.
A strong quarter from Jordan saw it outscore Australia by 19 points to eight and cut the lead to just 15.
In the final term, the Boomers came out attacking again and were the first to get on the board with an assist from Thon Maker setting up Mitch McCarron. It was an even quarter in the fourth, with Australia scoring 18 points to narrowly outscore Jordan who had 15. This was enough for the Boomers to get an 18-point win.
The Boomers will play again Thursday at 2pm AEST taking on Saudi Arabia.
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