Tigers claw NBL win from Sydney - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Tigers claw NBL win from Sydney

By James Dampney 10/03/2003 10:19:12 PM Comments (0)

The Melbourne Tigers showed they weren't prepared to limp out of the NBL playoffs without a fight tonight, scratching their way to a 108-104 win against the Sydney Kings to keep their semi-final hopes alive.

In a see-sawing match that went down to the wire, Melbourne battled back from a 104-97 deficit with under four minutes to play.

After Sydney won game one in Melbourne 101-89, it was heavily favoured to take the series at the Entertainment Centre tonight.

But the series will now go to a third and game, in Sydney on Saturday.

Off the back of Andrew Gaze's 25 points, including six three-pointers, the Tigers held their nerve down the stretch and overcame the championship favourites.

In a high-octane first quarter, it was the experienced Tigers who had the better composure, with Sydney showing some nerves in front of an expectant 6,501-strong home crowd.

An early five-point Tiger lead was soon whittled away however, and when Shane Heal hit a runner to end the opening term, Sydney led 25-23.

The match turned into a real arm-wrestle in the second period, with neither team able to gain any ascendancy early on.

It was end-to-end basketball, with both teams repeatedly working the ball inside rather than relying on their potent outside shooters.

Melbourne was playing the better team basketball, with the Kings relying on the individual skills of forwards Chris Williams and Matt Nielsen, who had 16 and 13 points respectively at the long break.

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