NBL 2014/15 Round 13: Crocs snap four game skid
|Steve Chalmers||Jan 1, 2015|
Photo Credit: Townsville Crocodiles Instagram
The Townsville Crocodiles have edged out the injury depleted Sydney Kings 93-92 on New Year's Eve at the Townsville RSL.
While the Crocs heavily rely on their big men to contribute heavily, this time it was their point guards putting on a show. Mitch Norton felt like he couldn't miss as he notched up 21 points on 7-10FG shooting which included three long balls, while Steve Markovic chipped in with 16 points and five assists, also connecting on three triples.
Brian Conklin always saves his best performances for when he's in front of the home fans, with the big man scoring 21 points, however not troubling much else throughout the game, grabbing just one rebound.
Without star import Josh Childress, who missed his third straight game with a hamstring strain, the Kings made another adjustment prior to the game where Damian Cotter sent fellow import Kendrick Perry to the bench in replace of Kevin White.
While White was serviceable in his new found starting role, Perry was quite a surprise packet finishing with 11 points in limited minutes.
Ben Madgen and Angus Brandt led the way for the sharpshooting Kings, with both players hot from the get go.
As Madgen finished with a game high 23 points, it was Brandt who made the most of his time on the court, fielding 18 points on 8-12FG shooting before being kept off the court due to a knee injury.
Sydney's rebounding woes continued as their lack of grabbing missed shots cost them dearly down the stretch, as well as their ball control. A franchise low 20 rebounds from the visitors as well as turning the ball over throughout key possessions meant that the Crocs could maintain a slender lead heading into the final couple of minutes of the game.
Mickell Gladness basically hammered the nail into the coffin for the Kings when his offensive rebound and put back And-1 gave the Crocs the lead in which they'd never surrender.
While hot shooting certainly kept the Kings in the contest (56.5% FG, 47% 3PT), the team is sorely missing it's leader in Childress and it will once again be a race against time to see whether the star import will be available for their season defining clash against Melbourne United at home on Friday night.
Townsville on the other hand host their first Reptile Rumble of the season when they take on the Cairns Taipans on Saturday night.
Townsville Crocodiles 93 (Norton 21, Conklin 21, Markovic 16)
Sydney Kings 92 (Madgen 23, Brandt 18, Cadee 11)
@ Townsville RSL