Pigs down Bullets - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Pigs down Bullets

By Laine Clark 18/01/2004 05:37:50 AM Comments (0)

There was no happy homecoming for Derek Rucker but former backcourt partner John Rillie was all smiles after he inspired West Sydney Razorbacks' 94-82 NBL win over the Brisbane Bullets.

Boomers guard Rillie brought the rabid Pigs faithful to its feet with a stunning 42-point haul - just three short of his career high - along with seven rebounds and five assists to help the Razorbacks (4th; 16-7 season record) extend their club record to eight straight wins.

But there were only boos for former West Sydney favourite son Rucker who drew the ire of the crowd in his first NBL game back at the Razorbacks' home court since defecting to the Bullets this season due to salary cap restrictions.

The first player signed by West Sydney and its skipper for the last five seasons, Rucker was once worshiped at the NSW State Sports Centre - but not now.

Instead of cheers, Rucker only drew jeers as his every move was "greeted" by deafening boos and the obligatory "Rucker's a w...er" chant.

It was still a gutsy effort from the Bullets (18-6), who pushed the Pigs all the way despite missing MVP candidate Kevin Freeman (thumb) and playmaking guard Stephen Black (hand ligaments).

To add insult to injury, the loss dropped Brisbane to second spot behind its conquerors of Friday night, the Sydney Kings.

Besides Rillie, Simon Dwight (10pts, 12 rebounds) and fellow big man Russell Hinder (10pts, 13 rebounds) impressed for the Pigs.

Rucker (26pts) and forwards Wade Helliwell (16pts) and Bobby Brannen (11pts, 17 boards) battled hard for a Brisbane side playing its third game in four days.

A shellshocked West Sydney trailed 10-1 and took three minutes to register its first point but Rillie (10 first quarter points) led a Pigs fightback as the hosts snatched a 20-18 lead at the opening break.

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