The Kings led for all but 39 minutes and 34 seconds of tonight's game, yet lost. It's one of the strangest games I've ever seen.
-Sydney shot the ball at 46% compared to Adelaide 43% and took 4 more field goals.
-Sydney hit 10 threes to Adelaide's 6. They also won the rebounds and had less turnovers.
-They led by 18 at quarter time, 19 at the half and 18 going into the fourth.
The foul count hurt Sydney in the end (28-19). Both teams received some awful calls but Adelaide were generally more aggressive at the basket and consequently drew more fouls. Adelaide hit 29 of it's 38 attempts from the line compared to Sydney's 16-31.
In the first half, Sydney couldn't miss. They moved the ball well and had their "A" game going inside and out. Cadee was aggressive, Khazzouh was doing as he liked and Prewster and Thornton also contributed. Adelaide couldn't get anything going and only stayed in the game due to some hard work by Petrie. Wright's move to bring Peach off the bench has been a masterstroke. He's got a great basketball IQ and watches the game and sees where he can make a difference when he comes in. His 23 points and 9 boards were massive.
Adelaide's defence was better in the third but it couldn't get it's offense ramped up enough. Randle and Peach were left to carry a lot of the load again but DJ contributed 7 points, working his way into the game after an unusually quiet first half. Only the most patriotic Sixers fan could have predicted what happened next.
The Sixers reeled off the first six points of the quarter before Dion Prewster scored to get Sydney back to an 87-73 point lead. Mitch Creek nailed an open three directly after which ignited the crowd and has us thinking "maybe". Peach scored off a putback and Ere followed with another three to cut Sydney's lead to 87-81. Suddenly things looked interesting. Jerome Randle pulled off and "And 1" and when Khazzouh fouled out a minute later with Sydney clinging to an 88-84 lead, the game looked Adelaide's to lose. Randle, Ere and DJ all made big plays down the stretch while Sydney choked at the line, going 1-6 down the stretch to give Adelaide a memorable win.
Randle, Peach and DJ largely carried a pretty average Sixers unit with Ere and Creek having a couple of key moments. Adelaide's pressure defence was as good as I've ever seen it with a huge amount of doubling in the backcourt.
Some other random thoughts and observations.
-Gibbo was rested largely down the stretch, his injury clearly a factor.
-Randle was sensational. One of the most passionate imports we've had.
-Marcus Thornton looks the goods from deep but is a train wreck attacking the basket. That part of his game needs a lot of work. Also not the best decision maker.
-Al Harrington is clearly a little too old, banged up and out of shape to dominate the league. Shot 7/22. Battles hard though and didn't hog the ball.
-Ebi is an enigma. At times looks lost/awful on defence, yet has a knack for pulling off some charges and steals and hustle plays. Was handy tonight.
-Cadee looks so good when switched on and aggressive. Such a shame he can't string five games together playing that way.
The win was much needed after two losses where the team could have won. With the Kings and Crocs up next, Adelaide can get it's season back on track fast. With the Cats hobbled and the Hawks inconsistent, Adelaide now has a chance to get a stronghold on a playoff position.