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No travel fears for Kings in NBL finals

The Sydney Kings have a better record on the road than they do at home, so don't fear having to travel in the NBL finals.

No travel fears for Kings in NBL finals

The Sydney Kings have a better record on the road than they do at home, so don't fear having to travel in the NBL finals.

Head coach ANDREW GAZE of the Sydney Kings looks on during their game against the Utah Jazz at Vivint Smart Home Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Head coach ANDREW GAZE of the Sydney Kings looks on during their game against the Utah Jazz at Vivint Smart Home Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah. Picture:Photo by Gene Sweeney Jr./Getty Images

If the Sydney Kings can't pinch second spot on the NBL ladder, coach Andrew Gaze says statistics show they should not fear having to play finals on the road.

The Kings need results to go their way in next week's final round of fixtures before finals, if they are to jump from third spot and in to the top two.


For starters, they need to beat the Cairns Taipans on Saturday. They also need one of Perth and Melbourne to lose both of their games next week.

The final game of the season sees United host the Wildcats, potentially for top spot.

Sydney can leapfrog the loser of that game if they also lose their previous clash.

Perth hosts the Adelaide 36ers on Friday night and Melbourne also play the Taipans on Thursday.

But if both of the higher ranked teams win, the Kings can't go any higher.

Gaze said while having the home court advantage would be great, he believes his side has shown they can win on the road.

"If we can beat Cairns and they are playing well; last game of the season playing loose, they can be tough," he said.

"If we can get that win we have a chance to get to second spot.

"It's a little out of control, but we have to control what we can control and if that's second or third spot, it doesn't really bother us.

"We have a better road record than we have home record.

"Some could argue, maybe you are in a better position (in third). I don't subscribe to that but the statistics show we shouldn't be fearful of having to win on the road.

"Teams have done it in the past. Perth, a couple of years ago, won it from third.

"We know it can be done."

Perth has the best home record this season, at 11-2; while the Kings have the fourth best home record (8-5). Sydney tops the ladder for away games wins (9-5).

However, of those wins on the road, only one was against Perth or Melbourne. They beat the Wildcats 98-97 with the last shot of the game in December, while both road games against United resulted in losses.

"Home court would be nice because of the travel," Gaze said.

"But even if we'd won (tonight against Perth), because of our percentage, we were relying on others to move up the ladder anyway.

"I think you have seen throughout the season though, that anyone can beat anyone."

The game against Perth was a physical encounter, but only Jerome Randle looked sore late in the game. He appeared to have a corked buttock or upper thigh, but played through and finished with 25 points.

"We had a tough game on Friday against (Melbourne) a championship contender," Gaze said.

"The energy and effort level to play to the level of defence required to give ourselves a chance is labour intensive."

AAP


AAP




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