Sydney wins Australian National Basketball League title

SYDNEY (AP) — The Sydney Kings swept the National Basketball League final best-of-five for their first Australian title since 2005 by beating the Tasmania JackJumpers 97-88 on Wednesday.

Sydney beat the JackJumpers 31-19 in the final quarter to win its fourth NBL championship.

Watched by a record NBL Finals attendance of 16,149 at Qudos Bank Arena in western Sydney, the Kings trailed after each of the first three quarters, but never by more than eight points.

Xavier Cooks (23 points and 13 rebounds) and Jarell Martin (22 and 16) had double-doubles for Sydney, with former NBA player Ian Clark scoring 11 of his 22 points in the fourth quarter.

Josh Adams scored a game-high 27 points for the JackJumpers.

The Kings were playing without American import and league MVP Jaylen Adams, who also missed Game 2 with a hamstring strain. Adams, who signed a 2021-22 contract with the Kings last August, played at St. Bonaventure University and made brief appearances with three NBA teams or their development teams.

The JackJumpers were also playing without two of their best players – Fabijan Krslovic and Jack McVeigh, who had been out with undisclosed illnesses.

The JackJumpers have been the surprise of the NBL this season despite their league debut. The side from the island state of Tasmania started off slow but secured a place in the NBL final with a semi-final win over defending champions Melbourne United.

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