Adelaide 95, New Zealand 94
Adelaide- you have yourselves a legit sporting team.
The 36ers, led by import Gary Ervin, stunned the Breakers with a last second win. With just 4 seconds left and trailing by one, Ervin stole an inbounds pass (just) by Kerron Johnson and ran the length of the court for a game winning layup.It was just one of those games for G-Money. He inadvertently almost cost his team the game by hitting a free throw he tried to miss in the dying stages. Hey- when you're hot, you're hot. It all worked out well in the end though and now Adelaide well and truly has the league's attention.
The Breakers jumped out to an 8-2 lead on the back of a Mika Vukona dunk and consecutive triples by Tom Abercrombie. Gary Ervin and Daniel Johnson ensured Adelaide got back into the game and gave Adelaide a 22-21 lead at quarter time.
The second quarter contained several momentum swings with Adelaide getting out to a 31-23 lead before the Breakers clawed back thanks to a 12-0 run. With Adelaide leading 37-35, Gary Ervin got out on a break and was fouled hard by Mika Vukona. The foul was deemed unsportsmanlike and it was clear we had a real game on our hands. Adelaide led at the main break 50-46.
Whatever coach Dean Vickerman said at halftime worked as the Breakers started to make things happen at both ends. New Zealand pretty much killed Adelaide's transition game and started to score with more ease, thanks largely to forward Tom Abercrombie who had 9 for the quarter. Adelaide was outscored 27-16 for the quarter and saw New Zealand lead 73-66 going into the fourth.
New Zealand largely kept a comfortable lead for the quarter and led by 9, 86-77 with 3:46 remaining. With 1:05 remaining, Tom Abercrombie hit a deflating three that slowed Adelaide's comeback and gave the home team a 90-87 lead. From there it was battle of free throws. With 11 seconds left and his team trailing 94-91, Gary Ervin went to the line to shoot two. He hit the first and then attempted to miss the second but it banked in and saw Adelaide still down 1 with 5 seconds left. Dean Vickerman called time out and while he was going over his team's options Coach Joey Wright simply told his team to go for a steal and if they didn't get a quick steal to foul.
The rest is history.
In yesterday's preview I suggested the key to securing a win would be for Adelaide to run, respect New Zealand's shooters and hit it's free throws. Tick. Tick. Tick
Adelaide ran regularly, held New Zealand to 5/18 from outside and hit 25/30 free throws.
Adelaide's imports were again huge down the stretch and were well supported by bigs Anthony Petrie and Daniel Johnson. To pull off two wins within 15 days away to New Zealand is a huge achievement and this time Adelaide doesn't have to worry about fronting up again days later for another game.
Nope, they they just rest up and get a week to prepare to dismantle Perth. They know they can do it and this win will have them counting down the days for the most anticipated game of the season.
Adam Gibson- 33min, 5pts, 5 reb, 6 ast. Did little offensively but was huge at the other end with 3 steals and 3 blocks .
Jason Cadee- 12min, 7pts, 1 reb, 1 ast. Small contribution but pushed the ball when he had it and his 7 points in 12 minutes was important.
Brendan Teys- 2min, 0pts, 0 reb, 1 ast. Yeh.
Gary Ervin- 31min, 26pts, 3 reb, 6 ast. Absolutely huge. Providing huge leadership and his stocks will have risen again with his team mates. Keeps Adelaide in games where it trails and provides a steady hand to finish of wins. Outside game was off but otherwise outstanding. He and Wright were destined to be paired up at some stage. Thank God it's in Adelaide.
Luke Schenscher- 11min, 4pts, 2 reb, 0 ast. Early it looked like he'd play an important role but was a little all over the place and missed some absolute sitters close to the basket.
Jarrid Frye- 24min, 12pts, 8 reb, 2 ast. Had minimal impact outside his solid fourth quarter where he recorded 6 points, 2 boards and 2 steals.
Anthony Petrie- 28min, 10pts, 3 reb, 0 ast. Not big numbers and has his struggles but still had moments. 2 steals and 2 blocks and some some good help defense on Pledger important.
Daniel Johnson- 29min, 20pts, 9 reb, 1 ast. Worked hard for his points in a solid game.
Mitch Creek- 11min, 8pts, 5 reb, 2 ast. Great contribution for 11 minutes. 2/3 on threes.