Patty Mills’ San Antonio Spurs have thrashed the Memphis Grizzlies in their NBA playoff opener, continuing a successful day for Australian players.
The Spurs led by three points at halftime, but steamrolled the visiting Grizzlies 111-82 on Saturday (Sunday AEST) to take the first game in the best-of-seven series.
Mills was perfect from distance, hitting all three point attempts for his nine points and three assists.
The Spurs’ NBA MVP candidate Kawhi Leonard had 32 points.
In the battle of the brothers, the Spurs’ Pau Gasol had just six points and four rebounds off the bench while the Grizzlies’ Marc Gasol had 32 points and five rebounds.
Earlier on Saturday, Australian rookie Thon Maker was an intimidating force and Matthew Dellavedova hit key shots in Milwaukee’s upset win over the Toronto Raptors in game one series.
The Bucks comprehensively defeated the Raptors 97-83 to silence what had been a ferocious Toronto crowd.
Maker, the 20-year-old, 216cm tall Sudanese refugee raised in Australia was superb fighting for rebounds and intimidating Raptors’ shooters around the basket.
Maker started the game and had four points, three rebounds and three blocks in 15 minutes while Dellavedova came off the bench for 11 points in 31 minutes.
Bucks’ star Giannis Antetokounmpo had 28 points and eight rebounds.
The Raptors DeMar DeRozan had 27 points.
Earlier, LeBron James’ defending champion Cleveland Cavaliers survived an upset loss in their playoff opener when Indiana Pacers’ guard CJ Miles missed an open shot in the final seconds.
The Cavaliers held on 109-108, with James scoring 32 points, 13 assists and six rebounds and Kyrie Irving 23 points and a key steal and block in the final minutes.
Paul George led the way for Indiana with 29 points.