Hot 36ers demolish out-of-sorts Kings
THE Sydney Kings must rediscover their match-winning mojo at home to have any chance of lifting a banner this season.
That's the reality after the Kings suffered their worst loss of the year against a red-hot Adelaide 36ers on Saturday.
The blowout 119-99 loss was Sydney's second straight defeat at home and dropped them to second on the ladder behind Melbourne.
Of greater concern to the Kings in one of the closest NBL seasons, home court in the playoffs could prove the difference.
It's why it's crucial the Kings consistently perform strongly at home.
Unfortunately for Sydney, this wasn't the case against Adelaide.
The Kings struggled to contain 36ers forward Jacob Wiley, who put on a show with 21 points.
Wiley produced a host of monster dunks, including a poster slam on Sydney's marquee man Andrew Bogut.
Rookie of the year favourite Harry Froling was also enormous for Adelaide with 14 points. Fellow big man Demitrius Conger added 15 and Boomers guard Nathan Sobey 16.
In the end, Sydney couldn't contain the offensive potent 36ers.
The Kings' frustration reached breaking point in the third when Bogut and Anthony Drimic came together and had to be separated.
Bogut was called for an unsportsmanlike foul.
The former NBA champion fouled out in the early stages of the fourth quarter.
Guard Jerome Randle did his best for Sydney with a game-high 23 points and forward David Wear had 14.
In the end, though, the Kings were completely outclassed in an embarrassing loss.
Third import Ray Turner had a quiet and frustrating NBL debut.
The former Bendigo Braves big man finished with four fouls and made little impact.
In fairness, Turner needs more game time before a major judgement can be made.
With Adelaide's season on the line, the 36ers fired out of the blocks to open up a 13-6 lead.
Forward Jacob Wiley was a handful for the Kings with his explosive speed and strength.
To Sydney's credit, they didn't let Adelaide's fast start rattle them.
Bogut helped steady the Kings with a beautiful drive and dunk, and a Randle three-pointer gave the home side their first lead with three minutes remaining in the first.
Despite this run, Adelaide went to the first quarter with a 27-22 advantage.
With Bogut off the floor to start the second, the 36ers kicked.
Froling looked potent in the paint while Wiley maintained his strong shooting.
This helped Adelaide charge to a 12-point lead midway through the second.
Sydney showcased impressive fight to comeback and level the scores at 43-all.
But the 36ers responded again to go to halftime with a 54-47 lead.
Adelaide continued their dominant run in the second half to blow Sydney out in emphatic fashion.
ADELAIDE 36ERS 119 (J Wiley 21 N Sobey 16 D Conger 15) SYDNEY KINGS 99 (J Randle 23 D Wear14 K Lisch 11) at Qudos Bank Arena.
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