Kings end Tigers winning streak in NBL - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Kings end Tigers winning streak in NBL

By John Salvado 10/11/2007 10:28:42 PM Comments (0)

The Sydney Kings stormed home to beat previously undefeated Melbourne 102-94 on Saturday night and replace the Tigers atop the NBL ladder.

In a clash played at finals-like intensity between the best two teams in the competition, the Kings held the Tigers to just 33 points in the second half after trailing by six points at halftime at the State Netball Centre.

Luke Kendall led the scoring the Kings with 20 points, including nine in the final term.

Centre Chris Anstey had a game-high 21 for the Tigers.

The victory completed an impressive week for the Kings, who also beat defending champion Brisbane 114-109 three days ago in Sydney.

The Kings improved their win-loss record to 10-1, while the Tigers slipped to 9-1 with their first defeat of the season.

Glen Saville hit two consecutive three-pointers midway through the final term to give Sydney an eight-point buffer and they were never headed.

Melbourne led 27-26 at the end of the first quarter, despite turning the ball over nine times, including an uncustomary three turnovers from veteran Darryl McDonald.

The Tigers had the better of a willing second quarter, while Kings forward Jason Smith picked up two technical fouls.

Melbourne led 61-55 at the long break, with Anstey (16 points) and Stephen Hoare (14) doing the bulk of the scoring.

Hoare completed an impressive first half by knocking down a long-range three-pointer just three seconds before the buzzer.

Smith led the scoring the Kings with 13 points, including three-of-five three-pointers.

Sydney stepped up the defence in the third period, limiting the Tigers to just 13 points to take a 75-74 lead into the final period.

The Kings had the better of the final quarter, with Saville, Kendall and Dontaye Draper all hitting important three-pointers.

By losing on Saturday night, Melbourne came up one game short of equalling their best-ever start to an NBL season.

That came back in 1998-99, when they won their first 10 games.

Sydney coach Brian Goorjian was thrilled to beat the Bullets and the Tigers in the space of four days.

"It was a great weekend for us - we beat the two best teams in two distinct different styles," he said.

"The other night (against Brisbane), it was our depth and being able to stay with the up and down for 48 minutes.

"And tonight, every time (in the last couple of years), we've come here in the fourth quarter when it was close, their big players made plays and we had trouble finding someone to go to."

Goorjian paid tribute to the efforts of Saville and new point guard Dontaye Draper in the final quarter.

"We looked like a team that executes a little better when the money is on the line and that's been a real fault for the last year and a half," he said.

Melbourne coach Al Westover said he was pleased to take a six-point lead into the halftime break.

"But in the second half we just couldn't string anything together," he said.

"We got frustrated, there were some turnovers, our shooting fell off a bit and we gave up a couple of second chances for them on rebounds.

"We just couldn't get anything going and that has to be credit to the Kings' defence."

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