USAB Men's National Team vs. Australia Boomers Team Exhibition

Kemba Walker

Joe Murphy Getty Images

Team USA led by only one point at halftime and after a slow start team captain Kemba Walker finished with the game-high 23 points.

The Americans and Australians will play another exhibition game Saturday morning.

And the Aussies gave their crowd some thrills like a run just before halftime that cut the United States lead to 44-43 after back-to-back three-pointers by Goulding and six straight points by Mills.

"Everyone came out tonight", Mills said.

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"I'm one of the leaders of this team it's important for me to set that tone", Walker said in the post-game interview.

The roof of Marvel Stadium was closed and the court was placed in the middle of the field surrounded by hundreds of white chairs, more than 20 rows deep, for fans who paid for floor seating.

Despite the huge crowd, Australian media reported that some fans were issued refunds because they bought tickets based on promotional materials depicting Stephen Curry and LeBron James.

Australia's own National Basketball Association superstar Ben Simmons also withdrew from the Boomers squad after being a part of the initial advertising campaign.

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Chris Goulding led Australia with 19 points off the bench, along with San Antonio Spurs' Patty Mills, who had two rebounds and three assists in front of more than 50,000 fans at Melbourne's Marvel Stadium.

Adversity struck, and the USA answered. San Antonio's Derrick White also didn't play for the US until the final minutes.

Jayson Tatum got knocked over by a defender in the third quarter and tumbled backward somewhat awkwardly - the back of his head falling into Walker's knee.

The two teams will meet again on Friday.

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