Sport Kings reign over Adelaide in NBL Cup
Cotton inspires Wildcats to win over Kings
Bryce Cotton shook off an illness to score 30 points as the Perth Wildcats defeated Sydney in a much-anticipated grand-final rematch.The three-time NBL champion recovered from illness to help the defending champions take the honours in Tuesday's grand-final rematch at John Cain Arena.
No prized import - no problem for the Sydney Kings.
In their first game without injured marquee man Jarell Martin, the Kings displayed their impressive depth by overpowering Adelaide 36ers 94-77 in the NBL Cup at Melbourne's John Cain Arena on Sunday.
The Kings looked set to face a test of character after former Memphis Grizzlies NBA big man Martin suffered a knee injury that could sideline him for up to a month in their last round loss to Illawarra Hawks.
Martin joined Xavier Cooks (foot) and Angus Glover (knee) on the Kings' injury list that had recently also included swingman Didi Louzada and Daniel Kickert for an extended period.
Sixers win NBL Cup thriller over Phoenix
The Adelaide 36ers have returned to the NBL winners list after surviving a late comeback from South East Melbourne Phoenix. Coming off three losses in their past four starts, the Sixers held on to win at John Cain Arena after seeing their 17-point fourth-quarter lead reduced to one in the final minute by a desperate Phoenix outfit.It took big performances from Daniel Johnson (27 points, 10 rebounds), Issac Humphries (24 points, 11 rebounds, two blocks) and rookie Josh Giddey (15 points, nine assists, seven rebounds) to shake off the Phoenix in the end.
But the likes of youngster Dejan Vasiljevic, Jordan Hunter and the returning Kickert stood up to help fill the breach as Sydney won their NBL Cup opener to move to a 4-4 overall season record.
Import guard Casper Ware (23 points) led a third quarter fightback while Vasiljevic (22 points) shot the lights out.
Vasiljevic is now the first rookie in Kings history to score at least 10 points in his first eight NBL games.
Hunter (six points, nine rebounds, four steals) helped keep Adelaide's Boomers big man Isaac Humphries (14 points) quiet while Kickert finished with 11 points (3-5 from three point range) in an impressive return match.
"It's about being ready to roll. We are not in the business of making excuses. Everyone on the roster thinks they can go out and make a good contribution," Hunter said.
Wildcats-Kings set for fresh NBL rivalry
The Wildcats and Kings will take winning form into Tuesday night's grand final rematch in Melbourne, but the teams are vastly different from last season.The Wildcats were leading the best-of-five grand final series 2-1 last season when the Kings decided to pull out due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
For Adelaide (5-5 record), import Tony Crocker had 15 points and Sunday Dech 13.
The 36ers have now suffered consecutive double-figure losses after their last round 19 point thrashing from Brisbane Bullets.
At least help is on its way.
Adelaide recently signed former NBA player Brandon Paul for the rest of the season and may be available for the NBL Cup's latter stages.
"We walked out in the third period with zero energy. We quit doing good things ... and defensively we broke down - it snowballed on us," Adelaide coach Conner Henry said.
Sydney led 30-22 at the first break but trailed 51-48 at halftime before going on a 19-0 run that included three straight Ware three-pointers to enjoy a 71-59 buffer at the final interval.
The inaugural NBL Cup began this weekend, with all nine clubs featuring in a total of 36 games over three weeks in a Melbourne hub.
NBL Cup results also count toward the regular season.
Hundreds of homes being 'left vacant' by landlords in Adelaide's CBD, welfare group warns .
South Australia's peak housing welfare organisation says finding ways to unlock a vast body of vacant dwellings in Adelaide's CBD could help significantly reduce homelessness, as well as rental stress. Shelter SA has released a report into vacancy rates in Adelaide, and estimates hundreds of dwellings in the CBD are currently unoccupied at a time when there are "increasing levels of housing stress".