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36ers beat Kings by six

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 28/11/2016

Ladder positions meant little to the last-placed Adelaide 36ers in Monday night's stunning 91-85 upset of the top-ranked Sydney Kings at Qudos Bank Arena.

Down by a point at three-quarter time, the Sixers overpowered the Kings in crunch time to claim their fifth win of the season.

The victory completed a perfect round eight for Adelaide after last Thursday's convincing road win over Brisbane.

It was the exact opposite for Sydney, with Monday's loss coming after Saturday's dramatic last-second road loss to Melbourne United.

Daniel Johnson led Adelaide with 22 points and American guard Jerome Randle added 20.

Sydney's Kevin Lisch finished with a game-high 25 and Brad Newley had 16.

The Kings remain on top of the table with an 8-6 record, while the Sixers are 5-6.

Sydney built a 25-20 quarter-time lead after hitting a sizzling 63 percent of their shots, but the 36ers didn't blink, fighting back to be up 45-44 at halftime.

Lisch had already put together an impressive stat line of 15 points, seven rebounds and five assists, while Adelaide relied on a more balanced scoring spread.

The closeness of the first half was underlined by a whopping 15 lead changes and four ties.

The end-to-end scoring slowed in the third period, but the margin remained just as close, as Sydney took a precarious 67-66 lead into the final quarter.

Adelaide silenced the home crowd in the fourth quarter and were deserved winners.

The Kings will make good use of a full week's break before taking on the surging Illawarra Hawks in Wollongong next Monday, while the 36ers host the Perth Wildcats this Friday.

"The first quarter was a bit alarming and it looked like it was going to be a tough night, but we stuck with it and it's a testament to these guys," Adelaide coach Joey Wright said.

"We had four rookies on the court for the first five minutes of the fourth quarter and they played the best defence of any group we had out there all night."

Sydney coach Andrew Gaze said the Sixers were outstanding.

"They stuck to their guns and weathered the storm. They made some huge plays and thoroughly deserved their win," he said. Monday's game was almost certainly the last in a Kings uniform for American import Steve Blake. The former Los Angeles Lakers guard has been granted indefinite leave to return to the US on compassionate grounds.

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