Adelaide 82, Sydney 64
The streak is over! Adelaide today finally ended it's 8 game losing streak with a hard-fought win over the Sydney Kings.
Adelaide started well, with Schenscher and Johnson causing Sydney plenty of problems early. DJ scored six for the quarter, Christopherson finally got it going from the field with 5 and Schensch contributed 4. Adelaide led 22-21 at quarter time, just keeping ahead of a strong-finishing Sydney riding Ben Madgen's hot hand (8pts).
The game got turned on it's head early in the second quarter when Luke Schenscher fell for a Darnell Lazare pump fake. Schenscher jumped and flipped off Lazare's shoulders, turning mid air and landing heavily. The thud would have been heard stadium wide and most thought he was concussed. It turned out to be some sort out of internal injury (we're waiting for further reports). Adelaide led 25-23 at the time but went on 19-12 run with a smaller lineup, leading the Kings 44-35 at half-time. It was a good lead... but we all wanted to see what we produced in the third.
The "championship quarter" wasn't pretty. It was a twenty-six point quarter, with Adelaide outscoring Sydney 16-10. Adelaide's defense was simply outstanding. The pressure was constant, leading to a whopping 10 turnovers for the quarter for Sydney. They shot 4/11 for the quarter, with Henry hitting two triples from three attempts. Most telling was Madgen's 0 points from 0 attempts. Sydney didn't score a single point from the 5:37 mark until the the end of the quarter. Adelaide led 60-45 at the final change.
The final quarter was much tighter but all Adelaide had to do was keep up the defense and keep the scoreboard ticking. It outscored Sydney 22-19, thanks to some nice Cadee drives and three point shooting from Weigh (2/2). Madgen got some shot attempts off in the fourth, but missed all five shots, finishing the game 6/20. Henry started the fourth hot as he tried to carry Sydney on his back. He hit his first four attempts but missed his last five. Sydney won't win many with Madgen and Henry combining for 12/34 from the field.
In my game preview , I said Adelaide would need to score over 80, keep Sydney under 80 and get some scoring from the bench. In the previous clashes with Sydney our bench had contributed little. Today they added a very helpful 20 points (thanks largely to Petrie's contribution due to extra minutes but Christopherson's finish to the first was also important).
Hopefully Adelaide has learnt a lot from this game. It's second half defense, bench help and scoring spread all helped get the win. It should also take confidence from.......
-Winning such a key matchup with little input from Big Luke
-The fact they didn't totally rely on Adam Gibson, who only scored 8 points on 7 shots.
-DJ had the post pretty much to himself and returned 24 points on an extremely efficient 6/12 FG and 12/16 free throws. This should give the coaching staff a wake-up call on how to use him.
-Jason Cadee's game. Hit 6/10 field goals and had confidence with the ball in has hands, looking several times to get to the hole. The 36ers look so much more dangerous when their guards attack the rim. He shot 1/5 threes, not a good return but I'm happy he had the confidence to take them. Please take 500 attempts though at practice this week Jason!.
Adelaide now returns home next weekend to take on the Breakers. Always a tough ask but hopefully this game has given them some much needed confidence and shown them what solid defense and an even scoring spread can do.