Kings beat the Gold Coast 88-79 in NBL - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Kings beat the Gold Coast 88-79 in NBL

By Ted Simmons 23/09/2007 08:23:56 PM Comments (0)

The Sydney Kings lived up to their reputation as the Cardiac Kids with a nailbiting 88-79 win over Gold Coast Blaze at the Sydney Entertainment Centre.

"It was ugly and we'll take some lumps but there's brighter days ahead," said relieved Kings coach Brian Goorjian.

The result followed the pattern of the previous five years where the Kings have won their first home match but the score was not a true indication of the play.

"We had opportunities to get in front and the second half was a real game. We need to work on finishing," Gold Coast coach Brendan Joyce said.

The Kings started confidently and quickly bounced to a 14 points lead in the first quarter due to a 19-point haul by forward Mark Worthington.

Although leading 28-18 at the end of the quarter the Kings were not prepared for the sudden fightback by the Gold Coast who shocked the Sydney team with a 21-8 run to trail midway through the second quarter by one point.

Erratic shooting by the Kings and 10 points from Scott McGregor gave hope to the visitors but it was short-lived.

A pressure four minutes from the Kings, including three pointers from Jason Smith and Glen Saville, re-established a strong lead to take them to a 50-40 half time advantage.

The third quarter was a repeat of the opening stanza with the Kings startled into action and Gold Coast not only fighting back but taking a three-point lead with two minutes remaining.

Six successful long range bombs, two each from McGregor and James Harvey showed Gold Coast were not giving in.

Two shots later the Kings were back in front to go into the last session leading 71-70. But it took two-and-a-half minutes before either team could find the basket with Gold Coast breaking the drought.

With the game becoming more physical Kings guard Dontaye Draper missed four successive free throws but then stole the ball seconds later to snatch a three point lead after a length of court run.

Draper, a Kings import signed only weeks ago, missed another two free throws but got rousing applause from the spectators when he nailed the next two.

The Kings defence withstood non-stop pressure from Gold Coast in the final quarter and restricted them to seven points while adding 17 to their total.

Worthington was top scorer for the Kings with 26 followed by Draper with 13 while McGregor was best for Gold Coast with 18 and Harvey on 13.

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