Andrew Bogut’s much-anticipated NBL debut couldn’t help the Sydney Kings break their Adelaide hoodoo, as a late 36ers secured a 94-83 win on Saturday.
The vast majority of a bumper 10,761 crowd left Qudos Bank Arena disappointed after Sydney crashed down the stretch.
Sydney led by six in the final quarter but a 19-2 Adelaide run to end the game delivered the South Australian side’s 10th straight victory over the Kings.
Bogut fouled out with 90 seconds to go after scoring six points on two-of-nine shooting – he also weighed in with 14 rebounds, four blocks and four assists.
For Adelaide, 36ers captain Daniel Johnson scored 22 points and collected 10 boards while Nathan Sobey contributed 21.
Bogut endured a tough first few minutes by missing his first four shots, while the former NBA star’s direct opponent Johnson coolly produced Adelaide’s first eight points.
A partisan crowd was finally able to chant ‘MVP’ when Bogut belated nailed his fifth field goal attempt.
Point guard Jerome Randle led the Kings scoring with 28 while recruits Daniel Kickert and Brian Bowen contributing 14 and 13 respectively.
Adelaide were in control for the majority of the opening-round clash and led by as much as nine in the second quarter until a six-point spurt from Bowen cut the Kings deficit to one at halftime.
Brad Newley gave Sydney their first lead early in the third quarter and although they led by three at the start of the final term, the 36ers showed ample composure down the stretch.