Tigers beat Kings in first of NBL finals - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Tigers beat Kings in first of NBL finals

24/02/2006 10:43:57 PM Comments (0)

Chris Anstey and his Melbourne Tigers proved too big and too persistent for the Sydney Kings as they went 1-0 up in the five-match NBL finals series.

The Victorian team scored a 100-93 win over the defending champions at the Sydney Entertainment Centre and took a big step toward its first title in nine years.

The Tigers blew a close game open with a 16-0 run either side of halftime.

The Kings, chasing a record fourth consecutive championship, led 49-47 just before the long break, but Melbourne scored the final four points of the half and then held Sydney scoreless for over five minutes at the start of the third quarter.

Anstey finished with game high tallies of 24 points and 12 rebounds with Dave Thomas 23, the Tigers' other major offensive contributor.

Import Sedric Webber headed Sydney's scoresheet with 23, including five out of nine three-point attempts, while skipper Jason Smith supplied 20 points.

The taller Tigers caned Sydney on the board, enjoying a 59-40 advantage.

With Sydney having little height inside, the Kings relied on their perimeter gained and came up short.

The home team made 14 three-pointers, but jacked up an astonishing 44 long bombs, almost half of their total of 89 field goal attempts.

While Melbourne committed 25 turnovers to Sydney's 12 it proved far deadlier with its shooting, landing 50 per cent of its field goal attempts to Sydney's 38 per cent.

The 213cm-centre Anstey underlined his versatility and value by featuring in three successive big plays during the Tigers' decisive third quarter run.

With Melbourne holding a 53-49 lead, Anstey hit a three-pointer, blocked a David Barlow shot on Sydney's next possession and set up a three-point play for Rashad Tucker.

"We know Chris (Anstey) is going to be the X-factor in this series," said Melbourne guard Daryl Corletto, adding the Tigers had been working on defence all week at training as they knew Sydney was a high-scoring team.

"It's awesome, it's everything I expected (to be in a final), it's great rivalry between Melbourne and Sydney. The crowd was great.

"Everyone can improve (for game two), we'll go tomorrow and have a video session and see what we can add, and hopefully get them on Sunday."

Thomas, the Tigers' 204 cm guard, said: "We played defence, that's what we do and it showed tonight with our performance.

"But it's a long series, we've got four more games to play."

The second match of the series will be played in Melbourne on Sunday night.

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