NBL Rd 2 - Sydney v Adelaide
NBL Rd 2 - Sydney v Adelaide

Sixers hit snooze button in Sydney

IT WAS 1am in Salt Lake City when Adelaide's NBL season opener against the Sydney Kings tipped off on Saturday night and the 36ers were clearly still on the US time zone.

They simply fell asleep as Sydney raced to a 30-14 quarter-time lead and it was game over, with the Kings eventually winning 102-80 to start the season 2-0.

Adelaide at least clawed their way back from 22 points down to get to within eight in the third quarter and again showed some fight to trim the margin from 21 to 13 in the last, but both times Daniel Kickert and Brad Newley responded from outside three.

Long-range shooting was a major factor in the game with Sydney draining 13 of 40 from beyond the arc compared to Adelaide's 6/19.

Jerome Randle was rusty early but finished with two big three-pointers giving him 16 for the night in his head-to-head battle with Casper Ware who finished with 10. But Ware was on when it mattered early and helped set things up for his team.

Adelaide's other new import, big-man Eric Griffin, continued to be plagued by foul trouble. He and fellow big Harry Froling both had three fouls in the second quarter and Griffin fouled out with 4:29 to play after an overzealous rebound attempt.

He was also called for a moving screen and then a charge as he continues to adapt to the physicality and its refereeing in the NBL.

Griffin finished with just four points in nine minutes which at least included a big block but the Sixers desperately need to keep him on the floor.

That all meant more minutes for Obi Kyei who showed promising signs on his NBL debut. Kyei only had three points, including a big dunk from a Randle dish, but hauled in seven rebounds to match Froling's seven on the glass when going head-to-head with Andrew Bogut in the paint for the Kings.

Daniel Johnson top scored for Adelaide and the game with 26 points and was the Sixers' only consistent offensive threat.

After a disappointing showing against the Utah Jazz in the NBA last weekend, Johnson was aggressive at the basket and went to the free throw line five times to be 9/10 from the stripe.

He got some help from Anthony Drmic who nailed five quick-fire points just before half-time to give Adelaide a glimmer of hope as Drmic and Ramone Moore both finished with 10 points for the game.

Newley's 18 points led the Kings on the scoresheet while Kickert and new import Jae'sean Tate both had 16. Bogut had eight points on a perfect 4/4 from the field which included a dazzling around-the-back move to the hoop in the first half.

The 36ers will want to put the loss down to jet-lag after returning from the US on Tuesday but their sloppy defence left both the paint and the three-point shooter wide open, and they gave up 16 offensive rebounds to their 11 against the Kings.

They now have six days to prepare for their home season opener at the Entertainment Centre, against the Brisbane Bullets, on Saturday night.