Jason Cadee stepped up big time on Saturday night to help the Sydney Kings secure a remarkable 92-78 win against the Cairns Taipans at Qudos Arena.
The sweet shooting guard got 23 points, 7 assists, 3 rebounds and four triples in 35 minutes. Cadee took over the reigns from Kevin Lisch after the Kings captain succumbed to a head knock in the third quarter.
Cadee lit up during the fourth quarter and dropped 16 points in the final 10 minutes of the game. This allowed Sydney to easily pull away from a resilient Taipans team, who were primarily led by Cameron Gliddon (13 points) and Nnanna Egwu (12 points).
Kings import Greg Whittington finally came out of his shell and delivered a solid all-around game in front of 5,200 screaming fans.
He showed plenty of energy as he filled up the stat sheet with 21 points, 9 boards, 2 assists, 4 steals, 4 three-pointers and 3 blocks. The dazzling effort on both ends of the court had the fans and TV commentators compare him to former Kings legend Dwayne McClain.
Head coach Andrew Gaze summed it up best when he said,
“The most pleasing thing is when it counted, we were able to come up defensively and get stops.”
NBA star Josh Powell made his home debut in the purple and gold but only played sparingly. He got 8 points and 7 rebounds but his biggest impact was his physicality.
Cairns forward Mark Worthington was the recipient of a face palm after the former King mocked Powell after an ensuing call that nearly sparked a melee. Powell’s strong presence gave Sydney some much-needed aggression.
The Kings have now won two consecutive games after backing up from a surprise win against the Illawarra Hawks two nights ago. They have not won back-to-back games since November 2014, when they beat Wollongong and Adelaide in Round 5 two seasons ago.
Sydney’s promising start has placed them second on the NBL ladder after two rounds. Centre Julian Khazzouh’s return should help bolster a stacked lineup next week.
Notes & Quotes:
Sydney Kings forward Bo Liu received some court time at the end of the final quarter. He is officially the first-ever Chinese-born player to play in the NBL.
WSB dance crew No Flex from Parramatta provided fans with some dynamic street dancing outside the Qudos Arena forecourt.
Basketball fan Chris Woelders said Whittington is a human highlight reel in the mould of young D-Train.
Sydney will play two big games next week against defending champions New Zealand Breakers on Thursday, October 20, and the following Monday, October 24 against cross-town rivals Illawarra Hawks.