Bullets stun Kings in comeback NBL win

Fraser Barton |

Brisbane have heaped more fourth-quarter misery on the Sydney Kings, coming from 19 points down in the contest to prevail 96-87 at Nissan Arena.

It was deja vu again for the Kings (3-6) after leading the game through three quarters before capitulating in the final 10 minutes, much like they did in their last outing against the New Zealand Breakers.

Chase Buford’s side looked to have a stranglehold on the game after dominating through the first 30 minutes, but Brisbane’s star trio of Nathan Sobey, Lamar Patterson and Robert Franks combined to propel their side to an impressive comeback victory.

Sobey had an efficient night with 30 points on 8 of 15 shooting, to go with four rebounds and four assists, registering his fourth 30 or more game at home.

Franks and Patterson had 16 apiece with the latter notching another double-double for the season.

The win ends the Bullets’ (4-3) horror Friday night record at home, winning just their first game in nine outings.

Facing a 31-16 deficit at the end of the first quarter, Brisbane switched their offence to the dominant Patterson, who’s tandem work with Jason Cadee edged the home side back into the fray.

The pair then got Franks and Sobey more involved in the second half, the Bullets scoring 61 points, 31 of which came in the final quarter.

Cadee’s 18 points, including five three-pointers, brought the crowd and energy back into the match as the Kings simply didn’t have an answer for the streaking hosts.

The veteran also brought up his 500th NBL career triple in 320 games, with his 501st a dagger to put the game out of sight. 

“(He’s) very calming, very assured of himself putting guys in the right place, very positive with the group, understanding what we’re trying to do and he got it rolling offensively,” Bullets coach James Duncan said of Cadee.

“And he was locking in defensively which is which is huge for us.”

The Kings’ night turned sour when centre Xavier Cooks was ejected in the first half following an unsportsmanlike foul, before receiving a technical for mouthing off at the referees.

Coach Buford said he “didn’t like” the decision and it turned the tide in the contest.

“Obviously changed the game quite a bit – we were plus 17 with Xavier on the floor,” he said. 

“He obviously would’ve helped us as he’s one of, if not our best players.

“I told the guys locker room we have six losses – four of the games we’ve been the better team for three quarters, and we’ve got to find ways to finish games better.”

Jaylen Adams was a bright spark for the visitors with his 33 points, while Dejan Vasiljevic chimed in with 21 and Jarell Martin added 18 points and 12 boards.