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Kings try to reign in nightmare round
Laine Clark
16:46 AEST Sun Jan 6 2013

Copping a trademark Shane Heal spray is tough.

But it paled in comparison to what the Sydney Kings endured in round 13 of the National Basketball League.

The Kings held out a desperate Adelaide 86-82 in Sydney on Saturday night after coach and ex-Boomers captain Heal didn't hold back on what he thought of their last round 34-point home loss to Perth.

However, even Heal's trademark tirades didn't stack up to the punishment that followed the Adelaide clash - backing up 16 hours and 800km away against the Tigers in Melbourne.

In the end, it proved too much for the Kings (3rd; 10-7 record) as they went down to the Tigers (5th; 5-8) 74-71 on Sunday.

Kings captain Ben Madgen defied a shoulder complaint suffered in the Adelaide win to lead with a team-high 16 points but Chris Goulding (18pts) ensured the Tigers were not to be denied.

Heal had typically made it clear he wasn't impressed by the tight turnaround before the nightmare weekend double, raising player safety concerns.

Especially after his prized skipper Madgen was seen nursing a heavily iced shoulder following a frightening fall in the Adelaide clash.

The schedule was reportedly blamed on Channel Ten insisting the highest rating teams play live on Sunday.

Madgen - the league's leading point-scorer - gave Heal a scare on Saturday night when he clutched his shoulder after landing heavily when fouled.

But Madgen - who had dislocated his shoulder earlier in the season - proved the difference in the tight win, completing a horror round for Adelaide and more specifically coach Marty Clarke.

The axe is hovering over Clarke after Adelaide - who started the season 5-3 - slumped to their eighth straight loss.

Second-last Adelaide (5-11) began round 13 with a 75-61 home loss to Townsville (6th; 5-10), set up by a 32-16 third quarter by the visitors.

Clarke said he was happy with the way his side responded in Sydney but admitted Adelaide chairman Daryl Simmons and 36ers fans would only be looking at the "win" column.

"I said to the guys after the game that that was an effort to be proud of - but in a results-driven world that's what you're judged on," Clarke said.

Meanwhile, ladder leaders New Zealand Breakers (12-3) held out the fourth-placed Hawks (8-6) 78-76 in a Wollongong shootout on Saturday night.

CJ Bruton's late three-pointer ensured Wollongong slumped to their third straight loss.

And Perth (2nd; 10-4) thrashed dead-last Taipans (4-10) 85-66 in Cairns on Saturday night, thanks to last season's MVP Kevin Lisch (26 points).

"They kicked our butt from start to finish," Taipans coach Aaron Fearne said.


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