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GAME REPORT

Adams the Hero Again as Kings Down 36ers

The scoring and passing game of Jaylen Adams, and the inside presence of Xavier Cooks has seen the Sydney Kings overcome a tight battle on the road to the Adelaide 36ers and win 93-90 on Sunday.

It was Cooks who delivered a monstrous performance for the Kings at both ends of the floor on Sunday at the Adelaide Entertainment Centre with 25 points, 10 rebounds and some thunderous throwdowns.

However, it was a tight battle with the 36ers the entire afternoon with Dusty Hannahs stepping up with 24 points while Cam Bairstow delivered 18 points and eight boards. But still with the game on the line it was Adams who produced for Sydney.

He didn’t do it with a driving dunk like two weeks ago against the Brisbane Bullets, this time he knocked down the three ball with 3.5 seconds on the clock. That proved enough to secure the three-point win and fire the Kings back into the top four with a fifth consecutive win.

It capped a huge performance from Adams who finished the game with 26 points and seven assists while knocking down 5/9 from beyond the arc.

Jarell Martin also had 10 points for Sydney, DJ Vasiljevic nine, Shaun Bruce eight and Ian Clark eight.

Kings coach Chase Buford was delighted with the way his team fought out the win and especially the effort to fix up the first half problems especially in allowing Adelaide second chance opportunities.

"It was a heck of a basketball game and credit to Adelaide, they came at us from the opening tip and we struggled to guard them one-on-one for a lot of the night," Buford said.

"Daniel Johnson, Cam Bairstow, Dusty Hannahs all got inside us on single coverages and we pride ourselves on being better defensively. But they made some great plays so credit to them. 

"They got some good mileage rebounding in the first half, but in the second half they only had three second chance point, and the way our guys battled on the boards, we were really competing in that second half especially. We did a much better job limiting them to fewer second chance opportunities."

On top of the games from Hannahs and Bairstow, Daniel Johnson finished with 15 points and seven rebounds for Adelaide, and Sunday Dech 13 points and seven boards.

Sixers coach CJ Bruton was happy with the effort but obviously not quite the final result.

"I thought that we played with great energy considering we had a game that got away from us and we fought back on Friday when we didn’t have our legs underneath us for the Hawks game," Buford said.

"To bounce back as always, we did it after against the JackJumpers when we let that one get away but came back home and was able to get Melbourne. 

"This one was a great start with great energy, and I thought the execution of the game plan when we stuck to it was very solid. We took the right shots and unfortunately we came up short again."

Adelaide started well back on their home floor to go up 7-2, and then triples to Todd Withers, Cam Bairstow and Sunday Dech had the home side roaring with a 16-8 edge.

Sydney talked it over and then it was Jaylen Adams that led them back into the game as he continued his hot form with three makes from downtown himself, but Adelaide still led 25-23 by quarter-time.

Five quick points to open the second period to Daniel Johnson helped extend Adelaide's lead before Cam Bairstow pushed it out to seven. Adams, though, was keeping the Kings in the game with a couple more baskets and then his fourth three-pointer of the half.

Xavier Cooks then got aggressive and even hit a buzzer-beating off balance three to go into half-time, but the 36ers still led 47-45 on the back of dominating the boards with 27 rebounds to 17. They also had nine offensive boards for 10 second chance points to just two from Sydney for zero points. 

The two teams were trading baskets for the majority of the third quarter, but it was Cooks who was doing a power of work to try and pull the Kings away, including a monstrous one-handed throwdown.

Dusty Hannahs put up eight points in the quarter for Adelaide, though, and when captain Mitch McCarron scored on the buzzer, the Sixers were up 71-69 by three quarter-time.

Adelaide was threatening to again open up a handy lead with a three-point play from Hannahs to stretch the lead to five, but Sydney responded with an open three from Shaun Bruce and then a putback from Xavier Cooks to tie scores up with under five minutes to go.

It was a good drive and finish that then put the Kings in front a minute later, but the Sixers hit back through yet another three from Dech. Bruce and Hannahs then traded triples but it was yet another one-handed dunk for Cooks that regained the one-point edge for the Kings.

Ian Clark stretched that lead to four, but Johnson and Hannahs brought scores back level for Adelaide with 50 seconds on the clock. 

Then not for the first time this season, Adams called game and hit a triple with 3.5 seconds left and the Kings then held on to win when Adelaide had a terrible final play to try and tie things up.

Adelaide will be next in action against the South East Melbourne Phoenix on Friday before also hosting the Perth Wildcats on Sunday. The Kings return home to host the Cairns Taipans also next Sunday.

HUNGRY JACK'S NBL ROUND 13

ADELAIDE 36ERS 90 (Hannahs 24, Bairstow 18, Dech 13)

SYDNEY KINGS 93 (Adams 26, Cooks 25, Martin 10) 

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