The Adelaide 36ers survived a third-quarter masterclass from Andrew Bogut to notch a 106-101 win over the Sydney Kings on Friday night.
Captain Daniel Johnson had 20 points and nine rebounds while reserves Adris Deleon (21 points, six assists) and Brendan Teys (14 points), playing his 150th game for the club, combined for 10-of-11 three-pointers at Titanium Security Arena.
Size advantage: Andrew Bogut wards off Adris Deleon of the 36ers at Titanium Security Arena in Adelaide.Credit:AAP
Johnson had the early edge against Bogut (16 points, 11 boards, three blocks) as the Sixers held sway 29-26 at the end of the opening term which finished with Jerome Randle drilling a buzzer-beating trey.
Bogut, who fouled out in last week's season opener against Adelaide, racked up three fouls in the space of 57 seconds early in the second and spent the rest of the half on the bench.
Drive to the basket: Nathan Sobey of the 36ers tries to get past Andrew Bogut.Credit:AAP
Brad Newley (23 points) did his best to single-handedly keep the Kings alive but it was the 36ers, piloted by Deleon, who led 62-52 at half-time.
Bogut shook off his early foul woes and returned to the fray after the break and completely changed the temperature of the contest at both ends.
With a combination of rebounds, dunks, hooks, slick passes and strong interior defence, the seven-footer showed why he played 695 NBA games to help Sydney briefly steal the lead.
The Sixers held a narrow 82-80 three-quarter-time edge and the fourth period was largely basket-for-basket before Deleon completed a stunning four-point play which he followed with a wild celebration.
Valiantly, Sydney kept coming but Johnson was ice-cool from the free throw line when it mattered to steer Adelaide to their 11th straight victory over the Kings.
Adelaide's sizzling 60 per cent clip from the three-point line was particularly pleasing for coach Joey Wright.
"I'm happy we shot the ball extremely well. Our guys did a good job of executing and getting the shots they wanted," he said.
Meanwhile, counterpart Andrew Gaze lamented his side's loose defensive display in the opening half.
"We gave up 62 [first-half points] – it's very hard to win games when you've got to score 120," he said.
"They've gone 15-of-25 from the three-point line which has traditionally not been their go – but they beat us with it.
"Our second half was a lot more respectable on the defensive end."
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