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Kings thrash Hawks by 17 in NBL

AAP logoAAP 24/10/2016

Key off-season signings Kevin Lisch and Brad Newley sparked the Sydney Kings to a 90-73 rout of arch rivals Illawarra on Monday night at Qudos Bank Arena.

Newley tallied 20 points, six rebounds and four steals, while Lisch had 19 points, eight rebounds and a career-high six steals in Sydney's fourth straight win.

"I was really pleased with how we cranked up the defence in the third quarter," Sydney coach Andrew Gaze said.

"We put the cue in the rack in the last quarter and it would've been nice to finish with a bit more polish.

"Illawarra have lost their past four games after starting the season with a 34-point triumph over Adelaide in round one."We set very high standards for ourselves and we were nowhere near meeting them tonight," Hawks coach Rob Beveridge said.

"It's a massive concern for us. We all need to have a hard look in the mirror."

Leading by eight at halftime, the Kings blew the margin out to 28 with a powerful defensive performance in the third quarter.

It only gets better for Sydney with former NBA player Steve Blake joining the club two days ago as a replacement for Michael Bryson.

The Kings hope Blake is cleared to make his NBL debut in this Sunday's round four home game against the Brisbane Bullets.

Sydney also have injured centre Julian Khazzouh to add to the mix when he makes his comeback from a leg injury in a few weeks.

Wooden spooners last season, Sydney (4-1) have almost equalled last season's win total after three rounds.

Both teams came out firing, hitting a collective 20 of 36 shots in the opening period.

The lead changed hands throughout the early stages before Sydney swingman Dion Prewster drained a three-point bomb to put his team up 25-23 at quarter-time.

Illawarra scratched out a 42-38 lead but the Kings fought back, outscoring the visitors 15-3 over the final four minutes of the second quarter to lead 53-45 at halftime.

The Kings dominated the third quarter with an NBL record 11 steals and cruised to victory in the final period.

Illawarra host reigning champions Perth on Friday night and are back on their home court on Sunday night against the Cairns Taipans.

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