Sobey’s 37 leads Bullets to easy win over 36ers

Steve Barrett |

A Nathan Sobey masterclass has helped Brisbane to a 18-point NBL home win over Adelaide.
A Nathan Sobey masterclass has helped Brisbane to a 18-point NBL home win over Adelaide.

Nathan Sobey’s career-best 37-point masterclass has catapulted Brisbane to fourth on the NBL ladder in a comprehensive 102-84 victory over Adelaide at Nissan Arena.

Sobey shot six-of-eight three-pointers, hauling the Bullets (13-14) onto his back from the opening tip on Friday night and motoring them past New Zealand, Illawarra and Sydney on the ladder, while terminating the faint finals hopes of the 36ers (11-16).

Brisbane will snap their five-year playoff drought if they beat the Breakers in Auckland in next week’s final round.

“We’re in a spot that we want to be in,” said Sobey, whose huge haul overtook his previous personal-high of 36, also against Adelaide, on Christmas Eve.

“Fighting to continue to play at this time of the year is what it’s all about.”

Dejan Vasiljevic (28 points) top-scored for the Sixers but his one-of-eight clip from long range typified a ragged perimeter shooting display from the visitors.

Excluding Kyrin Galloway’s three-of-five from beyond the arc, Adelaide misfired at a dismal 1-of-23 from downtown.

Sobey scored Brisbane’s first seven points and 12 of their first 16 to help the Bullets to a 22-20 quarter-time advantage.

Despite shooting poorly, the Sixers hung in and levelled the scores 36-all in the second before being snowed under by a Sobey-spearheaded 16-3 burst.

Galloway splashed his third three-pointer and blocked a Sobey drive to cap an 8-0 Adelaide run in response.

But Vasiljevic aside, the Sixers’ offensive well began running dry, while their slack defence allowed Sobey to do as he pleased.

The Tokyo Olympian and former 36er poured in 15 third-term points, including a three-point dagger – his sixth on the three-quarter-time siren.

Adelaide belatedly introduced renowned stopper Sunday Dech and employed a double-teaming blitz to stop Sobey from adding to his tally in the fourth but his fellow Bullets, led by Mitch Norton (15 points at 85 per cent) continued to poke holes in the dispirited and increasingly bedraggled Sixers.

“We couldn’t kick the ball in the ocean,” Adelaide coach Scott Ninnis said.

“We know we’re a much better shooting team than that.

“It seemed like every time we looked like getting back into the game, they had all the answers.”