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Ingles: 'No disrespect' but Australia expected to beat Team USA

Ethan Miller / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Joe Ingles says Australia's men's Olympic squad expected to beat Team USA on Monday in Las Vegas.

Ingles and the Boomers earned a 91-83 victory, handing Gregg Popovich's side a second loss in as many outings three weeks before the start of the men's Olympic basketball competition.

"No disrespect to them. They’re a hell of a team, obviously, the guys they’ve got on their roster," Ingles told reporters, according to The Athletic's Joe Yardon.

"And Pop standing up there is always nice to see. But we came in here expecting to win the game, and that’s what we did," the Utah Jazz forward added.

San Antonio Spurs veteran Patty Mills led the way with 22 points, while Ingles chipped in with 17. Australia held the U.S. without a field goal for the final 4:34 as part of an 11-1 run to end the contest.

Despite a nine-point lead at the half - the same margin Popovich's side boasted early in the third quarter of Saturday's shock defeat to Nigeria - Team USA let the game slip away in the third courtesy of a 19-6 run by the Boomers.

Damian Lillard, who led the American selection with 22 points, admits that the latest iteration of Team USA is a work in progress.

"We are still working at becoming a team, getting our legs under us and getting in shape," Lillard said.

Team USA's record of nine wins and five losses under Popovich is in stark contrast to the 54-1 mark they owned in exhibition play prior to the famed coach's appointment in 2019. The U.S. has also registered 25 consecutive victories in Olympic play.

On Monday, Popovich's club was outscored 44-24 in the paint and lost the rebounding battle 32-25, and according to the revered Spurs bench boss, a lack of conditioning is to blame.

"In the second half, we tired out," Popovich added. "And when that happens, you get hit mentally a little bit, too."

This U.S. offering is considered undersized by international basketball standards. On Monday, one of the team's frontcourt contributors, Kevin Love, did not play after logging only three minutes versus Nigeria. Kevin Durant and Lillard led the team against Australia with four boards apiece.

Team USA will look to alter its fortunes against Argentina on Tuesday, while Ingles and Co. will face Nigeria the same day.

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