Bogut, Kings break NBL ‘hoodoo’
ANDREW Bogut produced a pre-game jibe and then backed up the talk on the court to help the Sydney Kings claim their first win of the season with a blowout 101-78 victory over New Zealand Breakers.
Before a ball was bounced, Bogut fired a shot at his fellow NBL players by claiming there is "a lot of flopping going on and I've got to adapt and maybe flop myself."
The former NBA champion then went to work to ensure the Kings avoided the prospect of the most consecutive losses (4) to start a season in franchise history.
Bogut finished with 13 points, eight rebounds, four assists and four blocks.
The veteran big man was particularly prominent in the third quarter with two pretty plays.
Bogut produced a beautiful over the head pass for guard Jerome Randle to score before he added to the highlights reel with a stunning behind the back lay in.
Sydney's marquee man was relived to claim the drought-breaking win.
"It is just good to get the hoodoo off our back," Bogut said post-game.
"We were 0-2 and it has been a dismal two weeks for us, but it was a big improvement against the Breakers.
"We kept them to under 80 points, which was a goal for us coming into the game.
"I think even though we scored 101 points, our defence was very good."
Bogut stressed the necessity for the Kings to maintain the rage on the defensive end.
He was also pleased with the team's balanced scoring against the Breakers.
Six players dropped double figures but no one scored 20 or more.
"That is fantastic," he said.
"If we can continue to do that instead of having one guy score 30 and the rest in eight and nine - I think we'll have a good chance of being very, very good.
"You can't really scout a team that has that kind of balance, but it is easier said than done."
Bogut wasn't alone in the standout stakes for Sydney.
Import forward David Wear produced his best game for the Kings with 15 points, including an impressive three of four from the perimeter.
Skipper Kevin Lisch was also outstanding with a team-high 19 points while back-court buddy Randle added 15 points and five assists.
Sydney's second unit also contributed heavily to the final score line.
Brian Bowen Jr had 11 points, including a powerful dunk in the fourth quarter that will be replayed throughout the week.
Guard Kyle Adnam finished with 15 points and forward Daniel Kickert added eight points and six rebounds.
It's the first time since 2004 the Sydney Kings have shot 60 per cent from the field.
More importantly, the Kings' defence was strong for the entity of the match.
If Andrew Gaze's men can maintain consistency on the defensive end, they possess the scoring strike power to compete with any team in the NBL.
Of note, Sydney's 23-point win over the Breakers was only the franchise's second win at Spark Arena in Auckland.
The other victory in New Zealand was a 20-point triumph in 2015.
The Breakers charged out of the blocks to lead 6-0 before the Kings rallied to level the scores at 12.
Wear knocked down consecutive threes before the Kings went on a 23-6 run to take a 29-18 advantage to quarter time.
Sydney led by only eight points at halftime but on the back of a strong team effort at both ends of the floor they cruised to a comfortable win.
The Kings will look to build some momentum when they host the Cairns Taipans at Qudos Bank Arena on Sunday.
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