Kings reign over Brisbane - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Kings reign over Brisbane

By Laine Clark 16/01/2004 10:10:10 PM Comments (0)

Proving as hard to guard as his name is to pronounce, US import Ebi Ere detonated with a game-high 28 points to lift the Sydney Kings to an 118-101 win over Brisbane that settled the debate over who is the hottest team in the national basketball league - for now.

Ere - pronounced Erah and rhymes with hurrah - overshadowed the home debut of fellow import, the highly fancied Chris Carrawell, with a scoring onslaught that included a stunning 17 point opening quarter burst that just failed to lift the Kings over Brisbane to the top of the NBL ladder.

While Sydney moved to an 18-5 season record, the same as leaders Brisbane, the Kings needed to win by at least 21 to reclaim the top spot they relinquished when they lost last round to Melbourne.

Big things were expected from newcomer Carrawell by the home crowd after he arrived with an impressive US college pedigree and notched 15 points and 10 rebounds off the bench on debut in the last round loss to Melbourne.

While Carrawell was again solid in his starting debut (23pts, 11 rebounds), it was fellow import Ere who turned heads as he helped Sydney stop Brisbane's eight-game winning streak.

The Kings arrived looking far from regal after dropping four of their last nine games while the Bullets were just two wins short of a club record in a remarkable turnaround since finishing dead last for the first time in their 25 year history last season.

But without injured MVP contender, import Kevin Freeman (thumb), Brisbane was outgunned by a Kings outfit led by Ere, Carrawell and skipper Matthew Nielsen (26pts, eight rebounds).

For Brisbane, Derek Rucker (22pts) stood tall as did import forward Bobby "Baywatch" Brannen (24pts, 11 boards) who looked to be from the Bronx rather than the beach with his new-look dreadlocks.

Ere detonated in the first quarter, hitting 17 points including perfect 7-7 shooting from the field and 3-3 from outside the arc to help Sydney kick out at one stage to a 35-20 lead which was whittled down to 39-29 by the opening break.

Rucker took matters into his own hands in the second quarter, piling on 11 points for the term to cut the deficit to 57-50 before Sydney's Nielsen (12 second quarter points) countered to blow the lead out to 65-51 at halftime.

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