The first two games of the sixth round of the NBL were completed with Adelaide leading thanks to an away win. All the details of the action on Thursday night.
The 36ers add to Illawarra’s pain without Randall
– Jason Phelan
Adelaide’s season is back on track after Daniel Johnson and Robert Franks stepped forward in the absence of star importer Craig Randall II to fire the 36ers for a 16-point win over Illawarra Hawks at WIN Entertainment Center.
CJ Bruton’s side entered the clash after suffering streak losses, but found their attacking pace to score a convincing 96-80 win Thursday night that equalized their win-and-loss record at 3-3.
Despite the efforts of Tyler Harvey, who had a 25-point record, the Hawks were at a disadvantage at each break but launched a late rally that narrowed the margin to just five points with just over six minutes to go.
But the Sixers responded in a big way on the way to deliver the last Hawks to their seventh consecutive defeat.
With Randall missing from a chest injury, Johnson and Franks fired on record 28 and 25 points of the season, respectively.
They both got the eye early and kept shooting an impressive clip the whole time; Johnson is 11 out of 14, including 4 out of 6 from three points off the ground, with Franks at 11 out of 15.
Franks did a lot of the heavy lifting up front in the beginning, while Johnson was pivotal when the Hawks moved up in the last quarter.
With his team’s lead reduced to just five points, Johnson helped put the game out of reach.
The star veteran drained 13 points last season, including seven in a pivotal 13-2, to beat the Hawks.
The Hawks were 15 points behind in the second quarter, down 12 points in the first half and were lucky enough not to be further adrift given some low numbers.
Sam Froling was coming out of a 27-point game against United, but had zero points in just three attempts in the first half.
Import George King, who struggled with early fouls and played a few minutes, so he didn’t manage a two-shot field goal.
Perhaps the most troubling number for manager Jacob Jackomas was his team’s terrible three-point shot with 3 out of 15.
Peyton Siva was the main striker shooting zero from four, off the arc, while Harvey went 1 on 4.
The 36ers had low numbers, Antonius Cleveland with only one free throw for the half and Kai Sotto who didn’t shoot, but fared better from long range at 5 out of 15.
Siva, who was with the NZ Breakers last season, was playing his third game since he signed to replace importer Justin Robinson, who has a long-term knee injury.
The American drained his first triple after the restart and got nine assists in the three quarters when the Hawks struck 12-2 in the third period.
Siva finished with 11 points and 10 assists and will only improve when he finds the chemistry with his new teammates.
Wildcats suffers a second defeat to Tasmania
– Brad Elborough
The Tasmania Jack Jumpers don’t dwell too much on poor performance.
On Thursday night, less than a week after suffering a disappointing defeat in New Zealand, they traveled to the other side of the NBL universe and handed the Perth Wildcats an eight-point defeat at the RAC Arena.
The JackJumpers were two points behind at the final change and 11 points at the start of the game.
But they turned out the lights in the final term, winning 85-77.
Josh Magette dropped three shots from over the three-point line in that last period, to give him six out of 10 attempts at that distance for the game, on the way to 18 points.
Jack McVeigh added 22 points while Milton Doyle was outstanding with 15 points, 10 rebounds and five assists.
Tasmania pulled just 33% against the Breakers on Sunday, easily their lowest conversion rate this season.
After winning four at a trot, they only managed to get 62 points on the scoreboard against the Breakers, losing by 32 points.
Against Perth, that conversion improved to a much more respectable 42.5 percent.
LOSS HURTS CATS
The loss hurts the Perth Wildcats.
Extends the losing streak to five games, three of which are now on home court.
There were three certainties in life, death, taxes and the Perth Wildcats in the NBL playoffs.
All of that was challenged last season when the 35-year-old series of Cats ended to reach the final.
It’s only early in the season, but something needs to change if they want to avoid skipping the playoffs, which are now extended to six teams, for another year.
Last season, the Wildcats lost seven incredible home games at Perth’s RAC Arena. It is only at the beginning of this campaign and they have already been beaten three times on the home field.
SLOW AND CONSTANT
Perth have not been a great first-term team so far this season.
The Wildcats average only 21.3 points in the opening terms and the 19 points scored in the first quarter against Tasmania were the second worst in their first seven games.
But the three-point lead they had on their first break was the biggest they’ve achieved so far in 2022-23.
Now they have only driven to the quarters twice this season.
Last time it was against the JackJumpers in the fourth round, when Perth scored 23 points up by just one.
Tasmania won the next three mandates, limiting Perth to just 32 points in the second half.
On Thursday night, the JackJumpers won the second half 49-39. Bryce Cotton was limited to 10 points after half-time but still led all scorers with 26 for the match.
Originally released as NBL 2022/23 Round 6: Illawarra Hawks’ woes continue with Adelaide’s 36ers running away winning without Craig Randall II