Mon, Oct 22, 12:05pm by Staff Writer
The second week of the NBL season had only five games but it proved to be a pivotal weekend for the competition favourites the Sydney Kings.
The Kings snared their first win of the season in New Zealand with an emphatic 101-78 win against the Breakers on Sunday.
Sydney is $3 to win the NBL Championship despite being just 1-2 on the season.
They led for much of the way against the Breakers, who drop to 0-2.
Andrew Bogut was impressive for the Kings in nearly 30 minutes of play, dropping 24 points.
Seven Kings players were in double figures on the day, with captain Kevin Lisch scoring 19 and bench players Kyle Adnam and Brian Bowen chipping in with 16 points.
New Zealand is $8 to win the NBL Championship.
It was a win the Kings needed after dropping their second match of the season on Friday night at Adelaide.
The 36ers used a three-point shooting barrage to down the Kings, nailing 15 three-pointers at a staggering 60 per cent success rate.
Adelaide had all the answers despite Sydney’s second half comeback from 10 points down.
Adris Deleon was 6/7 from three for 24 points and was equal top scorer with captain Daniel Johnson.
The 36ers are $7 to win the NBL title and have won both of their games against the Kings this season.
Andrew Bogut was saddled with foul trouble on Friday night, picking up his third foul early in the second quarter and sat for the remainder of the first half.
Sydney didn’t play poorly by any stretch on Friday night as they shot 50 per cent from the field, but they couldn’t stop Adelaide on the other end in going down 106-101.
The Perth Wildcats are quietly flying under the radar after a 3-0 start and are $5.50 to win the title.
Perth has only two imports on its roster, with room for a third, but coach Trevor Gleeson would have no reason to shuffle his squad after a strong start to the season.
Perth’s three wins have come against Adelaide, Illawarra and Brisbane, with the latter two victories coming at home.
In a rare Saturday afternoon fixture for the Wildcats they got the better of Brisbane 88-73 at Perth Arena.
Perth led at every change and with 2017-18 MVP Bryce Cotton top scoring with 27 points.
He was one of three Wildcats starters to have double figure scoring as the Bullets struggled.
Brisbane won its first game in an upset win at New Zealand but has dropped consecutive games.
The Bullets shot just 36 per cent from the field at Perth as their starers struggled to get going.
Former NBA player Alonso Gee had just five points, with Cam Gliddon their top scorer with 16 points.
Brisbane is $21 to win the NBL Championship and has not made the playoffs since its reintroduction to the competition three seasons ago.
Melbourne United managed to overcome a 10-point first half deficit to get the better of Adelaide 75-72.
United is $3.50 win back-to-back NBL titles as scores were level at half-time against the 36ers.
Melbourne prevailed in a low scoring second half with David Barlow hitting a crucial three-pointer late in the contest. He was Melbourne’s top scorer with 15 points.
Nathan Sobey was Adelaide’s high points man with 19, as the 36ers’ bench failed to fire, scoring just 12 points for the match.
Illawarra had a tough opening weekend losing a 4OT thriller against Melbourne before being thumped in Perth just two days later.
They bounced back with a 104-93 win against Cairns on Sunday night.
The Taipans ($21) and Hawks ($26) are the longest odds in the Championship market.
Import Melo Trimble impressed in his first home game with 28 points.
Todd Blanchfield backed up his 26-point game against United with a 32-point outing on Sunday.
The sharp shooter was 7-12 from three in an outstanding shooting display.
Perth has a tough double this weekend travelling to Brisbane on Thursday and hosting Melbourne on Sunday.
New Zealand seeks its first win of the season against Adelaide, while the Sydney Kings are short-priced favourites ($1.38) to beat Cairns ($3.07).
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