Newley helps Kings extend streak
BASKETBALL: Former Boomers star Brad Newley outshone ex-NBA veteran Steve Blake as the Sydney Kings pulled a game clear at the top of the NBL ladder with a home win over the Brisbane Bullets.
Blake, who starred with the Los Angeles Lakers in the NBA, was rushed into the Kings line-up after captain Kevin Lisch was forced out with a leg injury.
He shook off a slow start to end with 12 points, four assists and four rebounds in 36 minutes on court but Newley (pictured) was the star at Qudos Arena in Sydney, hitting a game-high 29 points in his team's 87-78 victory.
The Kings extended their victory streak to five after losing to the Bullets in round one.
It is the first time Sydney has put together that many victories since 2008, while the Bullets slipped to a third defeat in their past four games.
The visitors had the better start, hitting four unanswered baskets inside the first two minutes of the game.
The home team began to settle and after an early timeout from coach Andrew Gaze, the Kings went on a 13-3 run with both Newley and the Bullets' Torrey Craig to the fore.
Craig scored 13 points in a good first half for the visitors but Newley helped his team to a seven-point lead at the main break.
Blake got going early in the second, and the home team's lead stretched to 12 thanks to Jason Cadee's three-pointer.
The visitors would not go away and cut the lead to two two midway through the fourth but the Kings struck back to avenge that first-round defeat.
Craig ended with 22 points and 14 boards for the Bullets but only Cameron Bairstow, with 13 off the bench, gave him much support.
Round four results (home team first): Cairns Taipans 83 Melbourne United 75, Illawarra Hawks 81 Perth Wildcats 76, New Zealand Breakers 119 Adelaide 36ers 93, Sydney Kings 87 Brisbane Bullets 78