NBL 2014/15 Round 1: Josh Childress leads Kings to win on debut
The NBL has seen its fair share of quality players grace its courts the past few seasons, and ex-NBA player Josh Childress was the next quality import expected to shine.
He didn't disappoint.
The Kings forward was instrumental in the victory as he scored 26 points on 9 of 13 shooting, adding 8 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 steals and 2 blocked shots in a memorable debut.
The game began with the Hawks taking the early lead, but it didn't take long for Childress to assert his authority. He scored 7 first quarter points, attacking the rim with his quick first step and finishing beautifully.
The Hawks however, continued to hold court and were in command of the contest throughout the early part of the second quarter as Luke Nevill had his way down low, using his height advantage to good use.
Sydney looked to be relying solely on Childress to keep them in the game at this point as he showed a variety of skills on both the offensive and defensive ends of the floor, shown by his sensational steal and fast break dunk during the quarter. The rest of the Kings team were struggling to get into a groove though and Wollongong capitalised through the shooting of Ervin and Forman to take a 42-39 lead into the half.
Sydney took control of the game after the break, going on an 11-2 run thanks to some quality play from Ben Madgen and Tommy Garlepp, with Angus Brandt showing his ability on the offensive glass as the Kings took the lead.
The Hawks refused to lie down however, and Adam Ballinger turned back the clock with back to back threes. Former MVP Gary Ervin showed his usual refusal to quit by attacking the Kings' point guard Kendrick Perry, who was having a night to forget in his own debut.
Tommy Garlepp was sensational for Sydney throughout the game and showed just how far his game has come these past few years, but it was Childress who was the star of the night despite the Hawks' never-say-die attitude, which was none more evident than in the late game play of Jahii Carson. The Kings took out the contest 86-83, and an NBL star was born in Josh Childress.
Sydney Kings 86 (Childress 26, Garlepp 20, Brandt 13)
Wollongong Hawks 83 (Carson 17, Ervin 16, Ballinger 16)
Box score LINK