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Sixers pulverise hapless Hawks in NBL

AAP logoAAP 5/01/2017 Steve Barrett

The top-of-the-table Adelaide 36ers emphatically returned to the NBL winners' circle with a 119-85 demolition of the Illawarra Hawks at sold-out Titanium Security Arena on Thursday.

Jerome Randle (25 points) was at his brilliant best, while Nathan Sobey (19) and skipper Mitch Creek (18) were able assistants.

Americans Marvelle Harris (15 points) and Rotnei Clarke (14) were valiant for the outclassed Hawks.

AJ Ogilvy had some nice interior moments early and a 10-0 Hawks flurry midway through the opening period offered some false hope as the entire contest was otherwise played overwhelmingly on Adelaide's terms.

The 36ers connected on a sizzling 68 percent in the first quarter to lead 37-27, the best opening term by any team this season and the most prolific quarter by any Adelaide outfit since club legend Brett Maher's farewell home game in 2009 against the New Zealand Breakers.

Adelaide continued to pile on the misery for the hapless visitors with an equally dominant second term, outscoring Illawarra 30-15 for the period to extended their cushion to 67-42 at halftime.

The only thing worse than the Hawks' two-of-15 three-point shooting clip was their abysmal defence - and there would be no let-up after the break.

A spectacular alley-oop from Johnson to young American Terrance Ferguson and a series of heads-up plays from Randle and unsung reserve Anthony Drmic saw the score balloon to 96-61 at three-quarter-time.

Adelaide coach Joey Wright praised his side's ability to keep rattling up the points.

"They (Hawks) wanted to press us, take the ball out of our guards' hands early," Wright said.

"I don't care - if they're open and it's their shot, then shoot it.

"We did a great job to find an open shot."

Illawarra coach Rob Beveridge described the 32-point thumping as "humiliating".

"There are not a whole lot of positives I got out of it," he said.

"We had an inability to follow anything that we set out to do.

"They (36ers) are the high-scoring team in the league, they've got the best shooting percentage.

"Everything they set out to do, they achieved, where we achieved next to nothing except for humiliating ourselves."

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