Kings level grand final series 2-2 - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Kings level grand final series 2-2

By Laine Clark 05/04/2004 05:23:37 AM Comments (0)

Any doubts over the Kings' credentials vanished after the defending champions crashed West Sydney's biggest party, levelling their best of five NBL grand final series at 2-2 with a thrilling 82-77 victory.

After losing the last two games of the championship series, the Kings came roaring back into contention by sending the series into a winner takes all game five on Tuesday at their home court, the Sydney Entertainment Centre.

But first the Kings had to overcome a John Rillie-inspired Pigs and the odds.

It was the first time West Sydney had dropped a home final after eight straight wins.

The pressure was all on the Kings as the Pigs - buoyed on by a sold out 4,000-strong crowd - vied to become only the second all Australian outfit to claim the NBL title and the first since St Kilda in the league's inaugural year 1979 with victory.

And for a minute the Pigs looked like they had it.

Trailing 59-46 in the third quarter and 65-53 at the start of the fourth, West Sydney came roaring back as Boomers guard Rillie nailed four three pointers to lock up the scores at 77-77 in the final minute.

But cool heads prevailed for the Kings who were led by import Ebi Ere (24 points) and skipper Matthew Nielsen (17pts, 10 boards).

For West Sydney, Rillie finished with 31 points while captain Sam Mackinnon had 10 points and nine boards.

The match picked up where the series arm wrestle left off in game three with just 29 points scored in a grinding first quarter.

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