Bullets survive spiteful encounter with Kings
BASKETBALL: The Brisbane Bullets turned on the heat to upset the league-leading Sydney Kings 86-73 in a spiteful game at the Brisbane Convention Centre.
Import Torrey Craig had 18 points for the home team, while fellow American Jermaine Beal (16 points) and forward Daniel Kickert (15 points and six rebounds) were prominent as the Bullets ended a two-game losing streak for their fourth win of the season.
Sydney's former LA Laker Josh Powell and Brisbane's Reuben Te Rangi earned technical fouls in the third quarter after Powell pulled Kickert to the floor and Te Rangi reacted with a heavy shove, sparking heated words from both teams.
That failed to cool tensions, with Powell reacting angrily to a Mitch Young spray, lashing out at the young forward and giving away an unsportsmanlike foul.
Sydney Kings coach Andrew Gaze refused to blame the physical nature of the game for the loss, but conceded Powell's actions were inappropriate.
"It's something we don't want, it's unnecessary and he shouldn't have done it,” he said.
Hostilities continued early in the fourth quarter.
Sydney big man Aleks Maric appeared to elbow Tom Jervis to the floor, but no whistle.
That prompted Jervis to chase him down the court and attempt to return fire, giving away the game's second unsportsmanlike foul.
Brisbane coach Andrej Lemanis said there was no premeditation to play Sydney physically, rather that it was a defensive effort that had been building through the season.
"That's where improvement comes first ... We were second worst in the league,” he said of the team's defence.
"When you're leaking points, it's hard to build any momentum.
"I thought tonight there was a real focus and intent from our team that we've been trying to build to.
"It was an emotional game. We did a good job of maintaining our poise.”
For the Kings, former Boomer Brad Newley stood out with 27 points including 16 points in the third term alone.
Kevin Lisch (17 points) and Greg Whittington (13 points) were the next best for the visitors.