The Adelaide 36ers have won the season series, beating the Melbourne Tigers 92-83 at The Cage in the NBL’s Community Round on Saturday Night.
It was a free flowing game from the outset however the 36ers led at every change after quarter time thanks to some great shooting from the field and perimeter (52 & 58%).
“That’s just us playing hard,” said Adelaide point guard Chris Warren. “We’ve been getting better and the main focus for tonight was just to have repetitive effort and that’s what we had.”
Warren led all scorers on the night putting up 26 points with 9/10 shooting. He also shot 4/5 from beyond the arc, dished out eight assists and had 2 steals. He was also ably assisted by teammates Daniel Johnson, Diamon Simpson and Darren Ng.
For the Tigers, Cam Tragardh scored 19 points off the bench on 9/15 shooting.
When asked about the inclusions of Walker and Lang into the starting line up, Head Coach Trevor Gleeson sighted a lack of rebounding in previous weeks as to the temporary demotion of Tragardh.
“We wanted to start out top two rebounders. Our rebounding has been very poor all season. I was happy with that start as a unit. They had been winning practice all week.”
The Melbourne Tigers began the game with their new look starting line up with the inclusions of Lucas Walker and Tim Lang, replacing league leading scorer Cam Tragardh and also Daniel Dillon. Adelaide burst out of the blocks quickly, jumping to an early lead before a triple from import Ron Dorsey opened the Tigers account.
Melbourne reined in Adelaide and with a right hand baby hook on the buzzer; Tragardh gave the upper hand to the Tigers at the first change.
The second quarter both teams scored in ebbs and flows. The Sixers import point guard Chris Warren began to get more involved on the scoresheet scoring freely in the quarter scoring 10 points. Melbourne closed out the half well and a three point basket near the buzzer from Ron Dorsey kept the Tigers in touch at the main break.
The second half began positively for the Tigers with Lucas Walker grabbing a steal and securing a lead for Melbourne within seconds of the half beginning. However some strong defence in the paint from import power forward Diamon Simpson, who had three blocks in the third period inspired an Adelaide break. The Sixers went on a 11-0 run and looked to blow the game out of the water.
Melbourne had their own difficulties when recently acquired import Myron Allen quickly earned his third and fourth fouls and was sent to the bench. Without his influence, Adelaide cruised to a 69-62 lead at the end of the quarter.
Darren Ng channelled his inner Jeremy Lin continuing to shower three point baskets on the Tigers. With six minutes to play, Allen was fouled out and as he sauntered over to the bench, so did Melbourne’s chances at winning. Some poor execution from Adelaide and some cheap baskets for Melbourne kept the scores tidy. The 36ers running out nine point victors.
Adelaide feel confident in having split their road double this weekend while Melbourne now have only one home game remaining against the Wollongong Hawks.
“I do really feel like there is still some fight in this team. It’s just a matter of bringing it out,” said Tigers captain Tommy Greer.
“(We want to) get some wins, finish on a high. Hopefully mess up some teams chances of finals.”
Melbourne Tigers 83 (Tragardh 19, Dorsey 16, Greer 14)
Adelaide 36ers 92 (Warren 26, Johnson 18, Ng 15)