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Tiebreaker Times
Photo from Adelaide 36ers


NBL: Sotto nails dagger as Adelaide stuns Melbourne in OT

Adelaide did not allow a meltdown to take place for a second straight game, stunning National Basketball League defending champions Melbourne United, 88-83, in overtime, Sunday at Adelaide Entertainment Centre.

Not wanting to suffer another meltdown for the second straight game, Adelaide showed great grit and determination in overtime.

After Jo Lual-Acuil scored the opening bucket in extra time, Dusty Hannahs took charge, scoring 10 in Adelaide’s 12-4 run to gain an 86-80 lead with 46 seconds left.

Though Chris Goulding scored on three freebies afterward, Hannahs was able to find Kai Sotto for a midrange jumper that served as the dagger.

The win snapped Adelaide’s three-game skid to go up to 4-6 in the standings. Melbourne, who were riding an eight-game winning streak entering the game, fell to 8-3 to go down to third place in the standings.

Hannahs ended up with 19 points while Sotto tallied 14 points on 5-of-8 shooting with four rebounds.

But the win almost did not come for Adelaide as it crumbled in the fourth quarter.

The 36ers, who were coming off a 71-76 upset loss to Tasmania, were up 61-51 early in the final frame.

Lual-Acuil though went ballistic, scoring the first 10 points of Melbourne to cut the lead down to 65-61 with six minutes left.

Adelaide tried to stop the bleeding but free throws by Lual-Acuil with 1:37 remaining followed by a Shea Ili trey 48 seconds later gave Melbourne a 74-70 lead.

A split on the stripe by Cameron Bairstow cut the lead down to three. Adelaide was able to gain a stop, forcing Jack White into a turnover later on. A triple by Dusty Hannahs with 15 seconds left forced overtime as Matthew Dellavedova and Sunday Dech missed potential go-ahead buckets in the dying seconds of regulation.

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Todd Whiters got 17 points built on three treys for the 36ers while Bairstow got 16 points and 12 rebounds. Daniel Johnson also notched a double-double with 12 points and 12 rebounds.

Lual-Acuil was the high point man for Melbourne with 23 points while also grabbing 12 rebounds. White finished with 18 points and 11 rebounds while Mason Peatling scored 11 off the bench.

Sotto and Adelaide will next face Brisbane on February 3 still at the Adelaide Entertainment Centre.

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