Adams the ace as Kings bounce back

IT was a night of dominance from the Sydney Kings as the reigning champions got things back on track in emphatic fashion, producing a powerful 29-point win over the New Zealand Breakers at Qudos Bank Arena on Sunday afternoon.

The Kings were in the midst of a form slump coming into the match, having lost eight of their last 11 games and slipped down to fourth in the standings. They looked a shadow of the team that claimed the ultimate prize in the two prior seasons, and needed to turn things around fast with the conclusion of the fixture for 2023/24 rapidly approaching.

Sydney hosted the Breakers, who had delivered some solid performances themselves, but were coming off a pair of tough losses to the Perth Wildcats and Melbourne United. However, the Kings were wounded and New Zealand would have considered itself a strong chance despite the game being on the road.

These hopes were crushed early into the match, with the Kings ruthless in their demolition of the Breakers. Sydney was clinical across the first three quarters, getting back to its best after a disappointing few weeks.

One of the biggest factors in the game was the performance of former NBL Most Valuable Player (MVP) Jaylen Adams, who produced an offensive masterclass in a vintage performance from one of the league’s premier guards.

Sydney Kings (105) def. by New Zealand Breakers (76)

Jaylen Adams – 39 points, three rebounds, three assists, one steal, one block

Adams was back to his best against the Breakers, getting off the chain early and posting some big minutes in reasonably limited minutes all things considered.

He made his first five attempts from behind the three-point line and helped Sydney to a near-perfect record from downtown. The Kings went 11/15 from behind the arc in the first half, which had a big impact on the outcome of the game.

Adams’ 39 points was far and away a match-high figure, with the next best being Denzel Valentine with 23 for the match. The star guard shot 14/22 from the field, and despite some tough defensive attention from New Zealand’s typically stingy backcourt duo, did as he pleased in one of his best performances in the NBL.

Remarkably, he did this all in just 26 minutes of play, before being pulled from the court halfway through the last quarter, much to the dismay of Kings fans at Qudos Bank Arena.

It was one of the most explosive offensive showings in NBL24, with Adams breathing life into his team’s chances of claiming a third consecutive title.

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