Basketball: Kings knock over Wildcats in ANBL

Marcus Thornton of the Sydney Kings drives to the basket. Photo / Getty Images
Marcus Thornton of the Sydney Kings drives to the basket. Photo / Getty Images

The Kings have celebrated a win against high-flying Perth 103-77 in their final home game of the NBL season at Sydney Olympic Park.

The Wildcats had the minor premiership up for grabs, a sought-after position given the home-ground advantage throughout the finals, but Wednesday night's loss denies them top spot and they will likely finish second on the ladder.

With skipper Damien Martin (ankle sprain), Nathan Jawai and Jermaine Beal (both back tightness), omitted from the Perth line-up, coach Trevor Gleeson appeared to underestimate a Kings side looking to capitalise on weakened opposition and grab the chance to end a dismal last-placed season on a winning high.

The Kings were happy to take the advantage and show plenty of determination.

The Wildcats opened the night's scoring and it looked like another long evening ahead for the cellar-dwellers.

However, Sydney began to play with notable aggression in attack and looked like a team wanting to win, offering the kind of team cohesion they desperately needed last October at the start of the season.

Ahead at the first break, 27-23, the Kings went from strength to strength in the second quarter. They broke to a 17-point advantage at one stage and were ahead 59-46 at the main break.

Guard Josh Childress and captain Tom Garlepp led the way with 15 points each ahead of the second half.

Childress powered on in the third quarter, instrumental in the Kings' well-oiled new look and finishing the game top scoring with 25 points and he also managed four assists.

Garlepp also impressed with 22 points with Marcus Thorton clocking 16 for the home side who cruised to a 26-point victory in their last game of the season at home.

Finally, the fans had something to cheer about.

Perth will take on the 36ers in Adelaide on Sunday night, with the home side fighting to lock up third spot on the ladder.

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