The Sydney Kings or New Zealand Breakers will go one step closer to securing the 2022/23 NBL championship this Friday when they meet in the third of their five-game finals series at Qudos Bank Arena.
Kings vs. Breakers
Both sides will enter with confidence after each secured away wins across the first two games. The Breakers proved they could succeed in Sydney in Game 1 before the Kings hit back and squared the series with a 74-81 victory in New Zealand on Sunday.
The momentum shifted, unlike anything we’ve seen during Game 2, with the Kings outscoring the Breakers 44-20 in Q1 and Q3, while the Breakers took control with 54-37 through Q2 and Q3.
It was one of the gutsiest performances NBL fans will witness from the Kings after their two leading scorers for the season were subbed out of the match before half-time.
Derrick Walton Jr lasted less than five minutes as he struggled with an ongoing quad complaint he suffered in the first game, while the Washington Wizards’ latest recruit and League MVP, Xavier Cooks, sat out the entire second half with a corked leg.
The depth of the Kings shone through as Kouat Noi top-scored off the bench with 20 points in arguably the best game of his career, while Justin Simon recorded 12 points, nine rebounds and six steals in a first-class defensive display.
The result could take its toll on the Breakers after being in the best possible position to go 2-0 up and place one hand on the championship trophy.
While Jarrell Brantley was one of the few Breakers who could hold their head high with 20 points and six rebounds, they’ll be quick to remind themselves of their Game 1 heroics where Will McDowell-White and Barry Brown Jr led the charge during their eight-point win in Sydney.
Before Sunday’s performance, the Breakers had won eight of their past nine games.
The Kings enter Friday’s clash as $1.57 favourites with BetDeluxe, and with both Cooks and Walton Jr expected to be fit to play, that’s where we’ll be looking to invest.
Suggested Bet: Sydney Kings (-4) @ $1.92