MELBOURNE, Australia -- After so many withdrawals and seating and ticketing dramas at Marvel Stadium, in the end the Boomers' first game against Team USA pretty much went to script.
On a night billed as one of Australian basketball's biggest yet, there were plenty of issues off the court. On it, however, Team USA were just too strong, skilled and powerful for the home team in the first match of their two-game series.
Despite some periods of momentum, the Boomers were no match for the world's best team, going down 86-102 on Thursday night.
The Americans arrived in Australia carrying the tag of one of the worst-ever U.S. teams, with global NBA names such as LeBron James, Kevin Durant and Steph Curry skipping the exhibition games and FIBA World Cup in China.
That's not to say the Boomers didn't give it a shake, particularly in the first half when they troubled the U.S. with their stiff defence which delighted the record Australian basketball crowd of 51,218.
"As in all games there's some good stuff and some areas where we can improve and continue to learn from," Boomers coach Andres Lemanis said.
"The first place we want to hang our hat is defensively and there was some periods in that game where we weren't where we wanted to be at the defensive end.
"Obviously they are a good team and there were things that we did which led to them making some shots and feeling pretty good about life."
The Americans, who have only spent three weeks training together, also lacked some chemistry in offence.
Both teams were rusty in the opening quarter, which ended with the visitors holding a 22-20 lead.
Team USA burst out to an 11-point lead midway through the second quarter but the home team closed the stanza on a 12-2 run to head into the long break only down by one point.
It was the third term where Team USA really flexed their muscles, turning that slender lead to a 15-point advantage which they never looked like surrendering.
Mills and Goulding both finished with 19 points while Andrew Bogut had five assists and four rebounds in a valuable contribution off the bench.
The teams will square off again at Marvel Stadium on Saturday afternoon [AEST].