Smith gets Kings home in thriller - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Smith gets Kings home in thriller

By Steve Jancetic 16/12/2004 10:20:42 PM Comments (0)

Sydney Kings skipper Jason Smith nailed three clutch free throws after the fulltime siren to lead the two-time defending NBL champions to an astonishing 97-96 win at the Sydney Entertainment Centre.

With the Kings down 96-94, Smith attempted what would have been a match-winning three-pointer on the buzzer, but was fouled by Pirates guard Kavossy Franklin in the process.

With the 3,357-strong crowd going wild, Smith calmly stepped to the line and nailed all three shots from the charity stripe to secure the one point win for the home side.

It capped a remarkable final minute in which former Kings player Ben Melmeth looked to have secured the win for the Pirates after he converted on a three-point play to put the Pirates up 94-90 with only 16 seconds to go.

Smith looked like he had lost the game for the home side when he missed two free throws with 2.2 seconds left, but he more than made up for it with his late heroics.

New Kings import Rolan Roberts was a presence inside all game for the home side, finishing with 22 points and 13 rebounds, while Smith finished with 21 for the game, including 8 from 11 from the free-throw line.

Brian Wethers scored a game-high 23 for the Pirates, and he was ably supported by Melmeth who had 22 points and 10 rebounds, but Hunter's 37 per cent shooting from the field proved costly.

The Kings opened strongly thanks to some hot shooting from swingman Brad Sheridan who scored nine points for the term (3 of 4 from behind the arc), but the Pirates were able to stay close thanks to some poor transition defence from the home side, as they went into the first break with the Kings up 32-27.

The Pirates turned that five-point deficit into a four-point (53-49) halftime lead, and they went on with job in the third term as they pounded the ball inside.

Hunter point guard Brad Davidson then unloaded with three big three-pointers as the visitors went on a 24-6 run to open up what looked like a match-winning lead at 77-57 midway through the term.

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