Kings out-muscle Bullets - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Kings out-muscle Bullets

By Adrian Warren 04/02/2004 10:16:38 PM Comments (0)

Sydney captain Matthew Nielsen supplied the muscle as the Kings beat Brisbane 107-97 in their crucial National Basketball League clash at the Sydney Entertainment Centre.

The league leading Kings secured the season split over Brisbane which rallied from an ugly 51-22 deficit in the second quarter to get within four points inside the final two minutes.

It was Sydney's fifth win in its last six games and the fifth loss in the last seven for the fourth-placed Bullets who were again without the injured duo of forward Kevin Freeman and guard Stephen Black.

Much of the pre-match talk centred on the statements of the rival coaches about their intention to win the physical struggle and the Kings prevailed.

Nielsen underlined his candidacy for most valuable players honours by racking up 27 points 15 rebounds, six blocks and six assists.

Sydney enjoyed a significant 57-42 rebounding advantage with Nielsen well supported by Brett Wheeler (10 points 12 rebounds), Ebi Ere (17 points 6 rebounds) and David Stiff (13 points 4 rebounds).

With guard CJ Bruton emerging from a recent scoring slump to spark Sydney with 12 of his 27 points in the first quarter, the Kings got an early jump on Brisbane.

Veteran guard Derek Rucker scored 21 of his 24 points in the second half with Ben Walker notching 21 points and Ben Castle contributing 18 points 10 rebounds and seven assists.

Brisbane's big men found it hard to penetrate and score against a resolute Sydney front line in which Nielsen, Stiff and Brett Wheeler excelled.

Nielsen had four blocks to his credit by halftime as well as 16 points and seven rebounds.

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