NOTHING was going right for Adelaide in Cairns then Nathan Sobey and Adris DeLeon produced three stunning plays in the last 15 seconds of the third quarter which turned the game.
DeLeon, who like much of his team was having a horror shooting night (0-6) put his body on the line to take two big charges to change momentum while Sobey again did the incredible with a catch-and-release three-pointer with four seconds to go.
Suddenly the Sixers went from trailing 57-62 to being level with the Taipans 62-62 at three-quarter-time, then the visitors toughed it out in the final quarter to win 91-83 on the back of some big individual performances.
Sobey was the star of the show and proved why he should be in MVP discussions this season with a game-high 22 points, game-high 13 rebounds and nine assists. The stats were still being reviewed late on Friday night and Sobey was expected to be upgraded to a triple double for his late assist to Wiley who also came up big for Adelaide with his best game for the season.
Adris DeLeon likes what he sees for the 36ers against the Cairns Taipans. Picture: Ian Hitchcock (Getty).Source:Getty Images
The US import had 19 points on 8-9 from the free-throw-line, while Daniel Johnson (16 points) Anthony Drmic (15) and Majok Deng (10) also ensured the 36ers shared the load in covering for the injured Ramone Moore.
But Adelaide had to fight for this one. A week after the best shooting performance in coach Joey Wright’s time at the club against Sydney, the Sixers couldn’t buy a basket in the first half.
They shot at a woeful 23 per cent from the field in the first quarter hitting just four of 17 attempts in the lowest first term of Wright’s time in charge. Meantime Cairns was working the ball through Nate Jawai at the other end and the big man at times looked unstoppable with two dunks.
But while offence wasn’t clicking for Adelaide, it started to switch on its defence and Harry Froling got a big defensive board and a stop – as well as draining a three – enhancing his reputation for being able to shoot the long-range ball.
DeLeon drew two charges on Lucas Walker and Melo Trimble who smashed him at the half-court and it inspired his team as Adelaide then went on a 14-0 run to take control of the game.
Cairns responded with back-to-back threes from Dexter Kernich-Drew, who finished with 17 points, but the Sixers kept their noses in front and when they were sent to the foul line in the closing stages made sure to finish the job.
Adelaide (3-2) now heads to New Zealand to play the Breakers on Sunday.
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Originally published as Sobey stars in Sixers win in Cairns
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