Aussies abroad: Mills fires Spurs past Bucks in NBA

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In the absence of the injured Tony Parker, Mills took on a lead scoring role for the Spurs, posting a team-high 20 points on 8-of-12 shooting and 4-of-6 from beyond the arc to go with a season-high 7 assists and

In the absence of the injured Tony Parker, Mills took on a lead scoring role for the Spurs, posting a team-high 20 points on 8-of-12 shooting and 4-of-6 from beyond the arc to go with a season-high 7 assists and 3 steals in 27 minutes.

This was arguably the best performance of the season by the 25-year-old, setting season-high marks for points, assists and three-pointers made as the Spurs improved their record to 32-9 – top of the Western Conference standings.

Fellow Boomers star Aron Baynes made the most of a rare opportunity for extended minutes, posting 9 points (4-of-6 FG) and 6 rebounds in 15 minutes.

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Catch Mills and Baynes in action on Thursday as the Spurs face Oklahoma City LIVE on ESPN at 12:00pm AEDT.

On Sunday Andrew Bogut was at his stat sheet stuffing best as the Golden State Warriors defeated the New Orleans Pelicans 97-87. The 29-year-old had 10 points, 15 rebounds and a season-high 5 blocks in 34 minutes as the Warriors continue a run of form that has seen them win 13 of their past 17 games.

Jayco Australian Opals centre Cayla Francis has come into 2014 in career-best form, posting back-to-back monster games off the bench for French team Nantes.

The former Logan Thunder star had 16 points (8-of-12 FG) and 8 rebounds in the first leg of Eurocup round of 16 last 72-54 win over Tarbes on Thursday before carrying this form into the French LFB competition. Francis had 20 points and 6 rebounds in just 22 minutes as Nantes slipped 79-67 loss to Charleville.

Fellow Opal Marianna Tolo had 10 points and 7 rebounds as her Bourges Basket team improved their record to 14-1 after defeating Lyon 64-57 to maintain their stranglehold on top billing in the LFB.

The win came after a rare Euroleague defeat, with Tolo posting 15 points (5-of-7 FG) and 4 rebounds in the 81-72 loss to Beretta Familia on Friday. Belinda Snell’s Polish team CCC Polkowice had better luck in Euroleague action, taking a 54-39 win over Vilnius.

Snell finished the game with 12 points and 4 rebounds in 31 minutes.

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Boomers swingman Brad Newley posted 20 points and 4 rebounds in 35 minutes, but it couldn’t stop his Gran Canaria from slumping to their sixth loss of the Spanish season, going down 76-66 to Euroleague club Unicaja on Monday.

Opals centre Liz Cambage and her Beijing team returned to winning ways, recording a comfortable 77-60 win over Yunnan on Saturday. Cambage had a quiet night by her lofty standards, but still posted 20 points, 8 rebounds and 3 blocks in the victory.

It wasn’t as fruitful a weekend for fellow Opal Lauren Jackson as her Heilongjiang team went down to Cambage’s former club Zhejiang Far East 89-70. Jackson had 15 points and 12 rebounds in the loss.

Staying in Asia, Boomers centre Luke Nevill and his Taiwan Mobile claimed three wins in as many days to move clear in second position in the Taiwanese Basketball League standings.

Nevill averaged 19.7 points and 11.3 rebounds in the three games, highlighted by 27 points and 14 rebounds in Saturday night’s 81-57 win over Taiwan Beer.

It was a big weekend of college basketball for Australians in the NCAA, headlined a career night for Boise State freshman Nick Duncan. A member of the Australian Emus team that reached the semi-finals of the 2013 FIBA Under 19 World Championships, Duncan had a breakout performance in the 78-74 win over Utah State, posting 17 points (5-of-9 3FG) and 6 rebounds in 35 minutes.

Staying in the Mountain West Conference, Cameron Bairstow was at it again for New Mexico, dropping 22 points (14-of-19 FT) and 8 rebounds as the Lobos accounted for Fresno State 89-78 on Sunday.

Fellow Aussie Hugh Greenwood also impressed with 8 points, 4 rebounds and 2 assists in the 11-point win.

Peter Hooley was flawless from the free throw line, hitting 12-of-12 on his way to 19 points and 6 assists as Albany defeated Maine 85-78 on Sunday. Majok Majok had 8 points and 10 rebounds as Ball State slumped to a 64-52 loss to Miami of Ohio.

17 points (7-of-10 FG) and 7 rebounds from Venky Jois could not stop Eastern Washington from suffering a 75-64 loss to Sacramento State on Sunday, while Angus Brandt had 14 points and 5 rebounds as Oregon State claimed bragging rights with an 80-72 win over Oregon on Monday.

Vanessa Panousis had her best game for Virginia Tech as the Hokies came from 15 points down to almost pull off the upset of the day against number 3 ranked Duke. The former Sydney Uni Flames guard had a season-high 21 points on 5-of-8 shooting from beyond the arc in the 74-70 loss on Monday.

It was a winning feeling for other Aussies in college competition, with Kate Gaze dropping 20 points and 4 assists as the Saint Mary’s Gaels defeated Loyola Marymount 78-74 on Sunday. Fellow Aussie Alex Sheedy had 16 points (7-of-10 FG) and 4 rebounds as Fresno State held off New Mexico 75-73.