Kings hold off courageous Blaze - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Kings hold off courageous Blaze

08/02/2008 10:56:30 PM Comments (0)

The Sydney Kings held off a determined Gold Coast Blaze for a thrilling 88-81 NBL victory at the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre.

The Kings were not troubled until the dying minutes of the game, when the Blaze reduced a 15-point margin at the final break to get within two points with three minutes to play.

But the ladder leaders showed no signs of panic and steadied for a seven-point win, their fifth in a row.

The Kings' season now stands at 24-3 with three more games to play after they ensured the minor premiership last week with a win over Wollongong.

The Blaze, who failed to give Brendan Joyce something to celebrate in his 400th game as coach, are now 15-13.

Buoyed by their win over Adelaide on Sunday which ensured a finals berth in their debut season, the Blaze were impressive in the first quarter but were let down by fumbles, falls and wide shots, which also plagued the Kings.

But Sydney held the lead throughout the game, 24-18 at the first break and extending it to nine points at the main break, 40-31.

The Kings again dominated in the third, going into the final quarter 64-49 before the Blaze turned up the heat.

A flurry of shots in the last minutes of the game got the NBL's newest franchise to within two points of the competition's best side, including seven final quarter three-pointers which had the boisterous home crowd on their feet.

But the Kings held their ground, snatching back the momentum thanks to Mark Worthington, who was his side's best contributor with 18 and Dontaye Draper (12).

James Harvey again starred for the Blaze, shooting a game-high 23 points which included six three-pointers.

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