Kai Sotto was not fielded in the fourth quarter as Adelaide suffered a stinging 90-93 loss to Sydney in the 2021-22 National Basketball League-Australia, Sunday at Adelaide Entertainment Centre.
Sotto only played 11 minutes in the game, finishing with two points on 1-of-4 shooting and a steal. The 7-foot-3 Filipino committed two turnovers during that span and was a team-high minus-15 on the floor.
Despite Sotto’s struggles in the game, the 36ers had a good shot of upsetting the Kings.
It was a nip-and-tuck final 10 minutes in Adelaide that saw both teams exchange leads at a furious rate.
Down by four with 1:37 left, Daniel Johnson and Dusty Hannahs rallied Adelaide back, knotting things up at 90-all with 46 seconds remaining.
A turnover by Jarell Martin led to an attempt for the lead for Adelaide. Hannahs though missed his shot that gave the Kings final possession.
With 3.5 seconds left, Jaylen Adams sized up Cameron Bairstow before knocking down a clutch trey to give Sydney the lead.
Off a timeout, Johnson badly missed on a tough fadeaway as Adelaide suffered its second straight loss to fall to 5-9 in the standings.
Adams led Sydney with 26 points built on five treys to go along with seven assists and three steals.
Xavier Cooks also tallied a double-double for the Kings with 25 points and 10 rebounds while Martin got 10 points on 4-of-6 shooting.
Sydney racked up its fifth straight win to go up to 10-7 in the standings and take the fourth spot from Illawarra.
Hannahs paced Adelaide with 24 points from off-the-bench duties while Bairstow got 18 points and eight rebounds.
Johnson and Sunday Dech had 15 and 13 points, respectively, while both grabbed seven rebounds each. Todd Withers also chipped in 11 points.
Up next for Adelaide is S.E. Melbourne on March 4, still at Adelaide Entertainment Centre.