Kings regain crown in top duel with foe

THE Sydney Kings’ title defence isn’t over just yet, with the two-time defending champions bouncing back to form on Sunday – defeating league-leaders Melbourne United 98-86.

This followed them slumping to their second straight defeat on Thursday night, losing 104-98 to the South East Melbourne Phoenix at the State Basketball Centre.
In this match, the hosts raced out to a 6-2 lead but thanks to strong play by Jaylen Adams and eight quick ones from Jonah Bolden, the first quarter ended in a flurry by South East Melbourne, seeing them lead 36-27 which grew to a 61-54 lead at the main break.
The Kings opened the fourth with an Angus Glover triple, which was quickly followed by an effort from Denzel Valentine, as the lead was reduced to eight.
Scores by Adams and Noi then brought the game back to 95-89, before a Valentine triple made it 99-94 but a late free-throw sealed the Phoenix’s six-point triumph.
However, the round 17 victory against Melbourne United, played in front of 12,921 fans, moves the harbour city side back into fourth, with just three rounds remaining before the post-season.
A big Adams-Bolden link up, and an explosive dunk from Alex Toohey ensured the Kings stayed on top throughout the match, with three from Shaun Bruce pushing them into the doubles and up by 15 at half-time (58-43).
Despite a late fight from Melbourne, three from Glover saw Sydney walking away with a pivotal 12-point win against the ladder leaders (98-86).
Mahmoud Abdelfattah’s side, who are now 11-12, next head to Adelaide on Friday for a clash with the 36ers – tipping off at 7.30pm.