News Article

Sobey stars as Bullets take down 36ers

10 Feb
5 mins read

Written By

Chris Pike for Brisbane Bullets Media

A career-best night from captain Nathan Sobey, with plenty of teammates jumping on his back, has propelled the Brisbane Bullets to a crucial 102-84 win over the Adelaide 36ers at Nissan Arena on Friday.

It was a must-win game in a lot of ways for the Bullets in the last regular season home game for NBL24 and the strong 4987 home crowd at Nissan Arena were treated to quite the performance from Sobey, but it was anything but a one man show.

To maintain a spot in the top six with one round, and one game, of the season to go, the Bullets had to win but it wasn’t going to be easy against a 36ers team who did beat them in Adelaide on Christmas Eve, and started on fire back in the season-opener before Brisbane prevailed also at Nissan Arena.

Not having starting centre Tyrell Harrison threw another spanner into the works, especially when coming up against Adelaide big man Isaac Humphries, but right from the outset it was a switched on Bullets outfit and Sobey led from the front.

The Brisbane skipper had 22 points to his name already by half-time and then had 37 by three quarter-time, already a high for his 261-game NBL career.

Perhaps the best sign all night was that Sobey didn’t need to add to his tally in the fourth quarter and the Bullets still outscored the Sixers 26 points to 17 for the 18-point win. This improved Brisbane to a 13-14 record and to remain solid in the top six with a game to go.

The Bullets would end up shooting 51 per cent from the floor for the game including a scintillating 11/20 at 55 per cent from beyond the arc. In comparison, the Sixers went at just 36 per cent overall and hit 4/28 from three-point territory.

It was a career-best scoring night for Sobey who finished with 37 points to top the 36 he scored also against Adelaide back on Christmas Eve. He did that on 13/22 field shooting, 6/8 from long-range and 5/5 at the charity stripe.

He had plenty of help too with Mitch Norton back into the starting line-up for 15 points, six assists, five rebounds and two steals while Aron Baynes also started without Harrison for 10 points, eight rebounds and three assists.

Josh Bannan contributed nine points and 11 rebounds, Sam McDaniel nine points, four boards and two assists, Casey Prather nine points and five rebounds, Isaac White five points and three assists, Chris Smith four points, three rebounds and two assists, and Rocco Zikarsky four points and two blocks.

DJ Vasiljevic top-scored for Adelaide with 28 points with Trey Kell III adding 13 points and 10 rebounds, Kyrin Galloway 13 points and three blocks, and Isaac Humphries 11 points and nine rebounds.

Bullets captain Nathan Sobey made his intentions clear early opening the contest with a three-pointer and then he went on to score Brisbane's first seven points in what was a 7-2 opening for the home team.

Aron Baynes knocked down two free-throws and then Sobey hit his second triple of the game to have 10 points in less than five minutes with the Bullets leading 12-4.

Out of a timeout, Adelaide did respond with seven straight points, but Brisbane again hit back starting with Casey Prather hitting the floor for a bucket.

Rocco Zikarsky completed an alley-oop pass as well from Sobey and by quarter-time it was the Bullets narrowly leading 22-20.

A couple of baskets to Chris Smith to open the second quarter helped push the Brisbane advantage back out to six points, and then it was Isaac White kickstarting a 10-0 run that broke the deadlock.

White completed a three-point play before Mitch Norton hit a three-pointer and then White and Sobey completed the 10-0 streak. Sobey then hit three free-throws and knocked down a fourth bomb from downtown for the half.

That had the Bullets leading by 13 and still 52-44 by half-time thanks to the 22 points from Sobey in a stunning individual display against his former team.

Adelaide were working back into the contest at the start of the second half largely through DJ Vasiljevic, but the Bullets took charge once more by scoring 10 straight points again. It started with an and-one from Josh Bannan before Sobey scored the next five points.

When he hit his fifth three-pointer of the game the Brisbane lead was out to 15 before the Sixers did mount another fightback. However, Sobey helped put that to bed with a stunning buzzer-beater to put the Bullets on top 76-67 by three quarter-time with him on 37 points.

On the back of that Sobey three to close the third quarter, Brisbane then broke further clear of Adelaide with triples from McDaniel and Prather to open up the fourth period to push the lead out to 15 points.

There was no room for taking the foot off the gas from the Bullets, though, with the combination of knowing how important percentage could still be and also with the knowledge of the late game struggles they've had at times this season.

As a result, Mitch Norton knocked down a three-pointer to stretch the lead out to 16 points midway through the final period and then 17 shortly after with a bucket to Josh Bannan.

Aron Baynes knocked down his first three-pointer of the night to push the lead out to 18 not long after and in the end the Bullets won the game by 18 to take another step towards taking part in finals action.

The Bullets now have one game of the season remaining and that's on Friday night on the road to the New Zealand Breakers with both teams locked in the fight over a top six position.


BRISBANE BULLETS 102 (Sobey 37, Norton 15, Baynes 10)

ADELAIDE 36ERS 84 (Vasiljevic 28, Galloway 13, Kell 13)



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