Sotto, 36ers lose in heartbreaker to Sydney Kings


Posted at Feb 27 2022 01:23 PM

The Adelaide 36ers absorbed a second straight loss in heartbreaking fashion, as they suffered a 93-90 defeat at the hands of the Sydney Kings on Sunday at the Adelaide Entertainment Centre.

Filipino center Kai Sotto was limited to two points in 11 minutes, but the 36ers got a strong effort from Dusty Hannahs (24 points) and Cameron Bairstow (18 points, eight rebounds).

Unfortunately for Adelaide, they were outplayed in the end game by the visiting Kings, with Jaylen Adams netting the step-back three-pointer that broke a 90-all deadlock and put Sydney ahead for good with 3.5 seconds to play.

Adams capped a superb 26-point, seven-assist outing with the game-winning shot. 

The 36ers still had a chance to force overtime, but could only get an off-balanced jumper from Daniel Johnson that missed its mark.

Adelaide fell to 5-9 in the 2021-22 season of the National Basketball League, while Sydney improved to 10-7.

The 36ers had nursed a slim lead for most of the fourth quarter, and were still ahead 80-75 with six minutes to play. But the Kings responded with a 7-0 blast, capped by a Xavier Cooks floater with under four minutes left, to give Sydney a slim 82-80 lead and set up the tight finish.

An Ian Clark triple with 1:37 left pushed Sydney ahead by four, 90-86, only for Johnson and Hannahs to nail back-to-back shots and knot the count with still 46 seconds to play.

Adelaide had a chance to snatch the lead when Jarell Martin was whistled for a moving screen, giving the 36ers the ball with 37 seconds to go. But the 36ers couldn't execute, and Hannahs' jumper that could have given them the lead was off.

That set the stage for Adams' game-winner, with the guard stepping back to evade the Adelaide defense before rising for the triple.

Johnson had 15 points, and Sunday Dech added 13 points and seven rebounds for the 36ers.

Meanwhile, Cooks finished with 25 points and 10 rebounds to lead the Kings.

Adelaide returns to action on March 4, Friday against the South East Melbourne Phoenix, still at the Adelaide Entertainment Centre.