Comeback kings: Sydney’s Ware ices former team
SYDNEY have pulled off an amazing comeback to score an 86-80 home win over Melbourne United in the opening match of their NBL semi-final series.
The Kings looked cooked on Saturday night when they trailed 78-62 with little more than six-and-a-half minutes to go, but a 24-2 run from that point secured an improbable win.
Sydney ratcheted up their defensive pressure down the stretch and United, who dominated most of the game to that point, couldn't execute under pressure.
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Brazilian Didi Louzada nailed a clutch three-point attempt to give the Kings the lead with just over 40 seconds left and former United guard Casper Ware iced the win with another basket.
Sydney led for a mere three-and-a-half minutes of the game.
The always energetic Jae'Sean Tate scored 24 points and Brad Newley 17 for the Kings.
Ware, who averaged almost 29 points a game in the regular-season games against Melbourne, had a difficult night before having the last laugh.
He missed his first eight field goals and didn't score a point until well into the third quarter, before finishing with seven.
Guard Melo Trimble, who replaced him at United, scored 34 and centre Shawn Long 23, but no other United player contributed more than eight as their team slumped to a fourth-straight loss to Sydney.
Game two will be played on Monday in Melbourne.