Basketball

36ers dare to dream after Bullets win

Star youngster Josh Giddey has stamped his NBA credentials with a record-breaking triple double in a convincing 22-point win over Brisbane that keeps the 36ers’ slim finals hopes alive.

In his first game since declaring for the 2021 NBA draft, Giddey lit up the Adelaide Entertainment Centre on Saturday night with 15 points, 11 rebounds and 13 assists in a 101-79 win.

He became the first Australian to record back-to-back triple doubles in NBL history.

Coming off back-to-back road losses, the Sixers trailed by a point at the first change, but went on an 11-3 rally early in the second quarter to lead by 10 points.

Giddey was fouled shooting for three as time expired in the first half, his successful free throws putting the home side up 55-47 at halftime.

Johnson went scoreless in the third quarter, but Keanu Pinder picked up the slack with some precise three-point shooting, Adelaide streaking to a 14-point lead at the last break.

Giddey brought up his triple double and brought the fans to their feet with a two-pointer that pushed the margin out to 16 points.

The 36ers’ finals hopes are alive … just. (Photo by Kelly Barnes/Getty Images)Source:Getty Images

JOHNSON CELEBRATES IN STYLE

Johnson celebrated his 350th NBL match milestone with 26 points and 8 rebounds.

HUMPHRIES HEATING UP

Isaac Humphries returned to the starting line-up in his third game back from a foot injury that sidelined him for 11 games. The star centre is working back to his best form, finishing with 13 points and four rebounds.

PATTERSON HOBBLED

Brisbane’s chances of a come-from-behind win suffered a major blow when import Lamar Patterson went to the changerooms for treatment on an ankle injury he carried into the game. The veteran guard returned to the game but was clearly troubled, finishing with six points.

ROAD WEARY/WARRIORS

Saturday night’s clash was Brisbane’s eighth game of an arduous nine-match road trip. The Bullets, who last played in the comfort of their home arena on March 27, will finish their road swing in Cairns on Saturday. Over the past month they’ve played in Melbourne, Perth, Launceston, Wollongong, Sydney and Adelaide for a 3-5 record.

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