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36er Johnson ensures winning 3×3 debut

Daniel Johnson has carried Australia’s 3×3 basketball offence in a winning start to life as a Commonwealth Games sport.

The Adelaide 36ers forward didn’t miss as he notched 11 points in a 21-7 defeat of Trinidad & Tobago before scoring nine points in a 21-11 win over New Zealand in Birmingham on Saturday.

The Adelaide 36ers NBL forward made all four shots from inside the arc in the opener worth one and two points respectively, as well as one free throw as Australia reached the target score in less than six minutes against Trinidad & Tobago.

They needed eight minutes and 10 seconds against the Kiwis, who led 6-4 before Tom Wright’s spurt pushed Australia clear and Johnson slammed home the advantage.

Debuting at the Tokyo Olympics last year, 3×3 basketball is played on a half-court and teams have 10 minutes to reach the magic 21-point target or be on top when the clock runs down.

Johnson ensured no nervous moments at Birmingham’s Smithfield venue, while Jesse Wagstaff, who won gold with Australia’s traditional basketball side in a rare Games appearance four years ago, scored eight and four points.

Australia will complete their pool action against the also-unbeaten England on Sunday night.

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