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Sydney Kings shade Perth in NBL thriller

Sydney have held off a fast finishing Perth to score a 77-72 home win over the NBL ladder leaders.

Sydney Kings shade Perth in NBL thriller

Sydney have held off a fast finishing Perth to score a 77-72 home win over the NBL ladder leaders.

NICK KAY of the Hawks drives to the basket during the NBL match between the Brisbane Bullets and the Illawarra Hawks at Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre in Brisbane, Australia.
NICK KAY of the Hawks drives to the basket during the NBL match between the Brisbane Bullets and the Illawarra Hawks at Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre in Brisbane, Australia. Picture:Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images

Andrew Bogut and Andrew Gaze are adamant Sydney has plenty more upside after the Kings indicated they could be genuine NBL contenders with a hard-fought 77-72 home win over ladder leaders Perth.

The Kings led by 15 in the second quarter and by 13 early in the final quarter at Qudos Bank Arena on Thursday.


But Perth, who suffered just their second loss in 12 games, showed all of their renowned resilience to get within one point inside the last five minutes of a tense contest.

Brad Newley and Kevin Lisch each scored 16 for Sydney, while Nick Kay and Terrico White each tallied 17 for Perth; Clint Steindl contributed 16 off the bench.

A 10-0 run in the second quarter sparked by six straight points from the energetic Newley broke open a previously close game and helped push Sydney to a 43-33 half-time lead.

Perth were again without their league leading scorer Bryce Cotton, but had inspirational skipper Damian Martin back from a calf injury and the tenacious defender helped limit Jerome Randle to a season-low eight points.

"The positive is I think our ceiling is far away compared to most of the teams in this league," said Bogut, who contributed ten points, six rebounds and three blocks.

Gaze was of a similar mindset after his side improved to 6-4, with their sixth win in eight games.

"We had to grind it out, but we still feel like we've got a lot more to give," Gaze said.

Perth didn't get their first free throw till almost halfway through the second quarter, by which time Sydney had nailed 12 of 14 attempts from the charity stripe.

Sydney led by as much as 15 in the third quarter, but Perth slashed the deficit to six as the Kings missed five straight field goal attempts before the home team steadied to hold a nine-point buffer going into the final term.

Perth coach Trevor Gleeson said the his side could have lost the game by a double-digit margin so he was generally happy with the effort.

"We had a lot of looks and the ball wouldn't go in today for us but our energy and our spirit wasn't compromised," Gleeson said.

He hoped Cotton would return for Sunday's home clash with Cairns.

AAP


AAP




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