The Sydney Kings have beaten the New Zealand Breakers 101-86 in their NBL clash.They fell well short of the finals but the Sydney Kings finished the season as one of the NBL’s hottest teams with their 101-86 come-from behind-win over the New Zealand Breakers.
Sydney closed the regular season with wins in six of their final seven games to finish with an 11-17 record and avoid the wooden spoon.
The Breakers led for most of the game before the Kings tied it up at 68-all at three-quarter time at Qudos Bank Arena on Sunday.
Cadee then took over, giving his team its first lead of the night with a crowd-pleasing three-point bomb and following with two more long-range daggers from which the undermanned visitors never really recovered.
He hit five threes in the period, pouring in a game-high 30 points, while Todd Blanchfield and Jerome Randle combined for 37 of Sydney’s points.
“We came out a little flat but give a lot of credit to their defence because they took some things away from us,” Sydney coach Andrew Gaze said.
“We’d given up 48 points at halftime and our defence wasn’t where it needed to be, and it’s been the backbone of our wins lately.
“We fixed that up in the second half and kept them under 40 and then Jason caught fire and was seeing the basket like it was a hula hoop, and the guys did a good job of getting him the ball.”
Missing from the Breakers were key players Edgar Sosa, Kirk Penney and Alex Pledger.
Coach Paul Henare hopes the trio will return for game one of the best-of-three semi-final series.
New Zealand’s season-ending loss left them with a 15-13 record heading into next week’s semi-final series against Melbourne United or the Adelaide 36ers.
Final standings and play-off seedings hinge on the outcome of Sunday night’s clash between the Perth Wildcats and Cairns Taipans.
Poor shooting and a high turnover rate ensured a low-scoring opening period.
New Zealand took a 17-14 lead into the second quarter, stretching the margin to 10 before the Kings fought back to trail by a point.
Unheralded Breakers guard Jordan Ngatai put his team back on the front foot with nine quick points and the visitors took a 48-42 lead into halftime.
Led by Blanchfield’s hot shooting, the Kings continued to chip away, drawing level at 68-all at three-quarter time.
Sydney dominated the final period, sending the Breakers to their second loss of the weekend.
“For the most part the boys played well and then we just ran out of a little bit of gas,” Breakers coach Paul Henare said.
“We wanted to use these last two games to try some things and work on different combinations.
“Jase got hot and they got comfortable and found a bit of rhythm.”