Kings take outright NBL ladder lead - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Kings take outright NBL ladder lead

By Desmond Kane 12/02/2005 10:03:17 PM Comments (0)

The Kings cruised to the outright lead of the NBL ladder after a crushing 96-74 win over a toothless Melbourne Tigers at the Sydney Entertainment Centre.

Tigers captain Andrew Gaze did his best to stem the tide but in his 608th game the greatest NBL player in history could do nothing to halt the one-way traffic towards his own basket.

In what could be his last visit to Sydney after 21 years in the league, the legendary guard who tops the all-time NBL scoring averages bagged 16 points including a memorable three pointer - his side's only one of the night.

But the great man was overshadowed by youth in the shape of Sydney's Jason Smith who top scored for a rampant Kings with 27 points closely followed by Mark Sanford's 21 and 18 from Ben Knight.

The one-sided win suggests the Kings - who are now 20-10 to second-placed Wollongong's 19-11 - can gain home advantage for the play-offs by securing the minor premiership.

On this form, they are also looking good for a record third successive championship.

Kings coach Brian Goorjian deservedly earned a standing ovation after Friday night's 118-113 win over Hunter at Newcastle earned him an all-time record 400th win in the NBL.

And his side responded to make Melbourne an easy 401st victim.

Despite playing their third game in four days, the Kings displayed no sign of fatigue in storming to a 27-21 first quarter lead with Melbourne's defence struggling to nullify the sharp shooting of the home team.

Goorjian rates Melbourne, a potential semi-final opponent for the Kings in the play-offs, as the most talented in the NBL.

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