Kings destroy Bullets in NBL

Steve Barrett |

The Sydney Kings have extended their lead at the top of the NBL ladder, walloping the Brisbane Bullets 116-67 at Nissan Arena.

The ladder-leading Kings outscored the hapless Bullets 92-46 after a tight opening quarter on Wednesday to post their largest-ever road-winning margin and finished one point shy of their all-time biggest win.

Sydney’s highest winning margin is 50 points, against Cairns in 2001.

Kings coach Chase Buford boasted on Tuesday that his defending champions are the world’s fastest-paced team outside the NBA – and few could argue.

“(With) that mentality of keeping our foot on the gas and trying to keep running, I thought our transition pace was terrific,” Buford said after the red-hot title favourites notched their fifth straight win by an average margin of 25.4 points.

“We’ve got so many guys who give us different things.”

Captain Xavier Cooks (20 points, eight assists) did as he pleased, so too did centre Tim Soares (20 points) and point guard Derrick Walton Jr (18).

For the hopelessly outclassed Bullets, Nathan Sobey (14 points) led the scoring before coming off in the fourth quarter after an errant elbow to his face from Kouat Noi.

“We knew we had to be near-perfect for 40 minutes to beat them,” Bullets interim coach Greg Vanderjagt said.

“That’s a hell of a basketball team.

“We’re not the first team to cop that (from the Kings) this year.”

Sobey was particularly busy early with nine-first quarter points as Brisbane, the rank underdogs, showed some early grit to only trail 24-21 at the first break.

They never looked remotely in the contest again.

Cooks dominated the second term with a series of spin moves, slick passes and even a rare three-pointer as Sydney won the quarter 35-19 to extend their advantage to 59-40.

It was Walton’s turn to showcase his talents in the third stanza, the American playmaker scoring 10 points for the quarter, including a 360-degree spinning drive-and-finish party trick as the Kings, with Angus Glover hot from outside, continued to pile on the pain.

Sydney refused to relent, uncorking a mesmerising 14-0 fourth-quarter burst, only missing out on their all-time record when Brisbane’s Gorjok Gak threw down a last-second jam.

“It’s deflating,” Bullets guard Jason Cadee said.

“We’re trying to find who we are, what we are, and right now we have no idea.”