36ers turn up the heat on misfiring Bullets
BASKETBALL: It was hot, humid and almost sub-tropical around steamy Brett Maher Court, weather with which you'd expect a team from Brisbane to be familiar.
But it was the heat NBL-leading Adelaide turned up from the tip-off which eventually led to the Bullets drowning in their own perspiration, chasing the 36ers and slipping 101-68 behind.
Jerome Randle with 22 points on a perfect 6-of-6 shooting, including 3-of-3 threes and 7-of-7 free throws, set the table and the 36ers went on a feeding frenzy.
Captain Mitch Creek had 15 points and five rebounds in 18 minutes, Nathan Sobey, Daniel Johnson and Terrance Ferguson each with 13, Majok Deng with 10.
Ferguson was scoreless heading into the last quarter but started it with a massive slam dunk off a Sobey lob and he was rolling.
Actually, everything started with Sobey, who's opening few minutes were breathtaking.
He followed a jumpshot with a steal, feeding Johnson for a triple.
He snatched the ball from the Bullets seconds later again, fed Matt Hodgson for a basket, then iced a three, 7436 fans going crazy.
Strong again to the hoop, he failed to complete three-point play but rested after just four minutes, he already had seven points, two assists, two steals and a rebound.
His energy was infectious, Randle taking over and Creek unstoppable in a 13-2 run which took the lead from 16-9 to 27-11.
This was over, Brisbane's depleted line-up completely rattled and when Adelaide burst out of the second quarter blocks on a 9-0 tear, the lead already was 20-plus.
Daniel Kickert battled manfully for his 20 points at 67 per cent, Torrey Craig was shut down for 10 and Matt Kenyon stepped up late with nine and showed promise.
But Jermaine Beal was pointless - in all ways - and just a shadow of the Larry Sengstock Medallist in Perth's 2014 grand final triumph over the 36ers.
Conscious of the conditions and of hosting a desperate Sydney, 36ers coach Joey Wright rotated freely, Ferguson's 24:44 the most anyone played.
Other than Randle, who played 20 minutes, everyone else was on court for less than a half, the pressure maintained throughout and a joy to watch.
"We definitely wanted to guard against being over-confident," Wright said, his team winning its 13th game from its past 14th and its seventh straight at the Fortress
"We wanted to play as hard as we could but I was very conscious of man-management."
Adelaide now has won its past five games by an average of 24.2 points, the last team to win five straight by double figures Wright's Gold Coast in 2012.