The Sydney Kings have defeated the JackJumpers in game three of the NBL grand final series, denying Tasmania a title in their maiden season.
- The Sydney Kings have won their first NBL championship in 17 years
- The Kings defeated the Tasmania JackJumpers 97-88 in game three of the grand final series
- Xavier Cooks led the way for the Kings with 23 points
The Kings swept the JackJumpers 3-0 in the series, sealing the title with a 97-88 victory in front of a record crowd.
In the must-win game for the JackJumpers, the away side led at every interval.
But the Kings dominated the last quarter, scoring 31 points to 19 to take game three and the championship.
Xavier Cooks and Ian Clark were instrumental for the Kings, scoring 23 and 22 points respectively, in front of a grand final record crowd of 16,149 people.
Their baskets in the second half helped lift the Kings to their first championship since 2005.
Cooks was named the most valuable player of the grand final series, capping off an impressive season.
“Man it feels really really good. It took a long time coming but we finally got here,” Cooks said.
Clark was a late addition to the Kings this season, joining the team in February.
He hit five important baskets from beyond the three-point line to help get his side over the line.
“I knew from the beginning I thought we had a championship-calibre team,” he said.
“The way we carry ourselves on the road, the way these guys practice, the way we compete, and we showed it tonight.”
The JackJumpers took a three-point lead into quarter time, taking advantage of the Kings’ five turnovers.
Momentum in the second quarter swung multiple times as Sydney and Tasmania tried to take over the game.
Despite holding a six-point lead with less than four minutes to half-time, the JackJumpers could only take a 48-47 lead into the main break.
The number of missed baskets from both sides increased in the third quarter as the intensity rose.
A couple of opportunistic three-point baskets from the JackJumpers helped them hold a 69-66 lead going into the final term.
But like the previous two games of the series, the Kings surged late, with Clark dominating for the home side.
The JackJumpers missed too many shots in the final term, resulting in a disappointing end to what has been a remarkable season.
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