Josh Giddey set the table while Isaac Humphries threw down the hammer as the Adelaide 36ers recorded a clean sweep of their miniseries with the New Zealand Breakers.
Five days on from their overtime win over the Breakers, the 36ers got the job done in regulation with an 88-78 victory at the Adelaide Entertainment Centre in front of a crowd 5,706 on Wednesday night.
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Giddey showed why NBA scouts are watching his every move, the 18-year-point guard going within two assists of his first professional triple-double, finishing with 13 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists.
Humphries was the main beneficiary of Giddey’s passing, scoring 21 points, his third straight game with at least 20 points, while he also controlled the defensive end with four blocks.
Captain Daniel Johnson (17 points), Tony Crocker (14) and Sunday Dech (11) were among five 36ers in double figures.
Corey Webster threatened to steal the game with back-to-back three pointers to close the margin to 73-77, but the 36ers – who led at every break – successfully closed out the game to move to 3-2 for the season ahead of Saturday night’s game with the Sydney Kings.
Young guns bounce off each other
Emerging star Giddey’s combination with Humphries is going to be a nightmare for opposition teams to defend all season. Time and time again, Giddey and Humphries worked beautifully in tandem in the half-court, the big man setting screens, rolling to the bucket and receiving the ball back near the rim. Giddey’s game is developing nicely as NBA scouts carefully note the Next Star’s all-round skillset. Humphries left the NBL a developing big and, after his NBA chance, returns a complete centre. If he continues this form, another call up to the big league looms.
Holy guacamole, Webster returns in style
After an avocado-related knife through the hand delayed Corey Webster’s NBL campaign, the Breakers star turned it on the fourth quarter. Webster – who made his return on the bench – hit back-to-back three pointers late in the game to keep the visitors within reach. Webster will only get better for the game, as will his potent back-court combination with younger brother Tai. The Webster brothers combined for 32 points, while Finn Delany led the Breakers with 19 points.
Sloan calls home after long-range bomb
36ers guard Donald Sloan whipped out the phone call celebration for the second game in a row after another clutch three pointer. With the clock winding down in the third quarter, Sloan dribbled the ball over the half-court line and let it fly. Nothing. But. Net. The sensational long-range shot came five days after Sloan drained a three-pointer to send Friday night’s game against the Breakers into overtime.
Delany makes DJ pay with rare five-point play
36ers captain Daniel Johnson lost his cool with a bump on Breakers forward Finn Delany that was deemed to be an unsportsmanlike foul near the end of the second quarter. Delany hit the two free throws along with a three-pointer for a five-point play from the possession, turning an 11-point deficit into a 39-33 game at halftime. Johnson’s frustrations had boiled over after the undersized Delany got away with holding, pushing and shoving when trying to defend the 36ers’ leading scorer.