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Kings end eight-game NBL losing streak
15:33 AEST Sun Mar 3 2013

An inspired performance from Ben Madgen led the Sydney Kings to a 83-67 NBL win over Townsville Crocodiles at the Crown Kingdome on Sunday.

In what was billed as a do-or-die fixture for the Kings and with two of their starting five missing, it was Madgen who stepped up in a dominant performance as he contributed 33 points, eight rebounds, five assists, three steals and two blocks.

In doing so, he helped the Kings snap an eight-game losing streak and give their finals push renewed hope.

If Madgen's points were the finesse to the Kings' performance, powerful import Darnell Lazare (21 points, four rebounds and the three steals) was the grunt and his immense contribution at both ends of the court was as vital as Madgen's points.

As was Ian Crosswhite (13 points), whose running battle with giant Crocs centre Luke Nevill (five points) helped nullify the big man's influence on the game.

When Nevill left the game midway through the final quarter after too many fouls - joined shortly after by ex-King Russell Hinder - it capped off a miserable afternoon for the Crocs.

After scoring with the first play of the game the Crocs did not hold another lead and were never in the game.

Peter Crawford's 22 points was the only highlight in an otherwise miserable day for the Crocs.

The Crocs simply had no answer for Madgen or a rejuvenated and desperate Kings side, a crushing alley-oop from Lazare in the final 30 seconds an exclamation point on a rousing performance.

With Kings coach Shane Heal more animated than usual on the sidelines, the Kings started with a high intensity and desperation on defence and they didn't let up for four quarters.

Indeed, a double rejection in the third quarter as the Kings' defence strangled the life out of the Crocs showed the home side's steely grit and determination.

And when Madgen scored six unanswered points in the closing stages of the third quarter to open up a 27-point lead, his elated celebration to the crowd was like a release of pent-up frustration from the team's previous losing streak.

Now the Kings' finals hopes live to fight another day after an impressive 16-point win.


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