Melbourne Tigers welcomed arguably the most credentialed player in NBL history with a ruthless 96-66 win over the Adelaide 36ers in Melbourne on Friday night.
Despite missing his first eight shots, Jonny Flynn used his speed and play-making abilities to give the Tigers a new identity and an instant catalyst in transition.
Flynn, taken with pick No.6 in the 2009 NBA draft and seeking more court time in Australia, finished with 12 points, eight rebounds and seven assists in his NBL debut.
A clicked-in Chris Goulding (24 points) and Seth Scott (18 points, 10 rebounds) were the dominant forces on the night and should be big beneficiaries of Flynn's new reign.
The 36ers were led by Anthony Petrie (15 points, seven rebounds), Jason Cadee (10 points) and Daniel Johnson (12 points, eight rebounds).An early Luke Schenscher block and jumper got the 36ers off to an up-and-down start, with Adam Gibson showing Flynn he's played against the best.
Causing frustration early by keeping the ball out of the point guard's hands, Adelaide soon had to adjust to Goulding finding range on his way to 11 points in a first quarter that featured seven lead changes.
The Tigers took advantage of a scrambling 36ers defence in the second, while Flynn continued to find his rhythm, finally making his first basket with a helping hand from Scott.
Taking their lead out to double-digits despite the efficient work of Petrie, the Tigers went into the major break up 43-32.The home team came out running in the second half, pushing the ball behind at every opportunity and milking Goulding in transition as the lead quickly reached 20 points.
Adelaide couldn't find a hot hand while the Tigers reached a new level behind the energy of Bennie Lewis and Lucas Walker.
The final quarter was a no-contest as Melbourne picked apart a stretched Adelaide zone that failed to slow down any aspect of the Tigers' second-half run.
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