Kings continue resurgence against Hawks

Last updated 20:43 16/12/2012

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Basketball

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Sydney's NBL resurgence continued with a sixth win from their past seven starts, but it was not enough to  satisfy coach Shane Heal.

The Kings (9-5) survived a 70-63 overtime thriller against Wollongong (8-4) on Saturday night, the hosts forced to do it the  hard way after leading for much of the night.

Wollongong had a chance to snatch victory when guard Adris  Deleon had two free-throws attempts in the dying seconds of  regulation, the US import only managing to hit one from the stripe  to send the game into overtime.

From there Kings import Corin Henry (13 points) and Ben Madgen  (11 points) stood up to consolidate their side's place in the top  four.

Heal, whose side led by as many as 12 points in the third  quarter, was mostly disappointed with the Kings' third win on the  trot.

''I felt like we were slipping this week, we weren't training  well and we didn't start well,'' Heal said, with the Hawks racing to  an 8-0 lead before he called a timeout.

''That said, to still win the game is positive even though we  didn't play the way we wanted to play.

''I leave tonight with more disappointment than excitement, but  that's basketball and it's part of our growth.''

Hawks coach Gordie McLeod felt his charges, who were backing up  after an energy-sapping 78-75 comeback win over Perth at home on  Friday night, were lucky they didn't lose by more.

''The guys struggled tonight,'' McLeod said.

''We probably should have gone 25-30 down, so we dodged a bullet,  but we came back into the game even though the result is  disappointing.''

Wollongong's earlier triumph over the Wildcats (8-4) maintained  their status as the only NBL side with an unbeaten record at home  this season.

The Hawks have won all five games at The Sandpit and, like  Perth, trail New Zealand Breakers (9-3) by one win on the ladder.

Dynamic point guard Cedric Jackson was again the main man for  the Breakers, who thumped Cairns 97-76 on Thursday night in  Auckland.

The American import grabbed 32 points, his biggest haul in two  seasons in the league, as the Breakers breezed past the Taipans  (4-7).Fifth-placed Adelaide (5-7) suffered their fourth successive  loss in round 11's biggest boilover.

The out-of-form 36ers were trumped at home 80-75 by lowly  Townsville (3-10).''We feel better about ourselves,'' said Crocs coach Paul  Woolpert, who has engineered a huge turnaround after his season appeared in ruin at 0-10.

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''The most encouraging thing is the fact all three wins have been  very close and we've made a number of plays down the stretch.''

Melbourne (3-8) trumped Cairns 83-77 in Sunday's fixture.

The league's All-Star game takes centre stage next weekend in  Adelaide while NBL action resumes on December 28. 

 

- AAP

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