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Hawks overcome 36ers by three in NBL

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 28/01/2017 Tim Keeble

The Illawarra Hawks have come from behind to upstage the high-flying Adelaide 36ers 95-92 in a fiery Saturday night NBL thriller in Wollongong.American guard Rotnei Clarke posted a game-high 25 points off the bench for the Hawks, who trailed by nine in the third period before storming home to claim their 13th win of the season and remain in second spot.Adelaide's loss is just their second in the past 16 games and they are assured of finishing on top of the ladder.Marvelle Harris finished with 14 points for the Hawks and Rhys Martin added 12.Daniel Johnson tallied a team-high 22 for the Sixers, while Nathan Sobey had 16.Illawarra jumped to a 6-0 lead before the Sixers responded with 11 unanswered points.Sobey and back-up forward Eric Jacobsen combined for 15 points, as Adelaide patiently carved out a 29-25 quarter-time lead.Adelaide coach Joey Wright's arguing match with referee Brad Giersch in the opening moments of the second period earned him a technical foul, allowing the Hawks to tie the game at 31-31.But the visitors quickly broke the deadlock, keeping Illawarra at arm's length over the closing minutes and taking a 49-44 lead into halftime.Adelaide had three players in double figures, led by Johnson's 13, while Harris had 13 for the Hawks.The Sixers stretched the margin to nine but the Hawks replied with a 10-0 run, taking a 71-70 lead into the final quarter.They led by as many as 10 and had to withstand a late surge by the Sixers down the stretch.The Hawks host the Cairns Taipans on Friday and wrap up round 18 with a road game on Monday week against Melbourne United.Minor premiers Adelaide's only round-18 game is next Saturday's home meeting with the New Zealand Breakers.

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