Kings coach riled by loss to JackJumpers

December 11, 2022 07:14 PM AEDT | By AAPNEWS
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Furious Sydney Kings coach Chase Buford said his team were "trash" defensively, gave up "obnoxiously dumb" turnovers and "suck" in fourth quarters after being mown down 84-76 by the never-say-die Tasmania JackJumpers at Qudos Bank Arena.

The visitors looked in trouble when trailing by 14 points early in the final term of Sunday's grand final rematch after the Kings' commanding 31-19 third quarter, before storming home to win.

Superstar import Milton Doyle (25 points) and Jack McVeigh (19) piloted the stunning rearguard as Tasmania outscored the reigning champions 26-6 in the fourth quarter.

Derrick Walton Jr (21 points) top-scored for top-of-the-table Sydney, who walked off their home court shell-shocked.

"Defensively we were trash all night," Buford said.

"We were lucky they only scored 39 in the first half.

"We limited ourselves with some of the obnoxiously dumb turnovers we had.

"We just suck in the fourth quarter - we're soft.

"I'm way more disappointed with us than I am impressed with them."

Walton was on song early with 11 first-quarter points.

The Kings shot 64 per cent from the field for the term but thanks to their seven turnovers, the JackJumpers were up 23-21 at the first change.

It was 39-apiece at halftime and the match remained in the balance through much of the third quarter before Sydney began to draw clear.

Kings captain Xavier Cooks ended the term with four successive assists as the hosts finished with an 11-1 run to pull ahead 70-58, but the fourth quarter was all Tasmania.

After a pair of Dejan Vasiljevic foul shots made it 72-58, the JackJumpers blasted 11 straight points to suddenly put the Kings under the pump.

McVeigh blasted three triples for the term, including the go-ahead bucket with 2:17 remaining, before Doyle followed with his fifth from downtown to ice the incredible victory.

"We held ourselves together well enough in the third to survive; it wasn't pretty," JackJumpers coach Scott Roth said.

"Just a gutsy effort in the fourth quarter.

"The whole group was just relentless and I'm quite proud of them."


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