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Tigers down Sixers, consolidate third

By Chris Pike
10 February 2013 11:18PM EST

ANOTHER day and it was yet another loss for the dismal Adelaide 36ers with the Melbourne Tigers taking advantage to consolidate third spot on the NBL ladder.

Melbourne capped off its second win this weekend on the road after beating Wollongong on Friday with an 84-71 victory in Adelaide on Sunday that was on the back of a dominant 47-23 second half.

The weekend improves the Tigers to a 10-10 record on the season to now be two games clear in third position on the ladder. It's an impressive performance with Melbourne now having won four straight games, and eight of the last 10, to rebound from starting the season 2-8.

It's the opposite story for the Adelaide 36ers, who lost its fifth straight match and 13th from its last 14 games this season.

Things looked encouraging coming into the campaign with the signings of Luke Schenscher, Anthony Petrie, Adam Gibson and Jason Cadee to join Daniel Johnson, Stephen Weigh and Nathan Crosswell.

That gave the Sixers a strong looking Australian squad and the season started well at 5-3 following two wins within five days over the second-placed Perth Wildcats, but one win in 14 matches since then sees them slump to 6-16 and almost assured of the wooden spoon.

Sunday's game told the story of Adelaide's season as well. The Sixers started strongly and with good purpose and passion to score 28 first quarter points and to still lead comfortably 48-37 at half-time.

However, they scored just 23 points for the entire second half as the Tigers took over and ran right over top of them, and making it look decidedly easy along the way.

Melbourne didn’t even play over well itself, but it was enough to make Adelaide look second rate.

Former Sixer Adam Ballinger top-scored for the Tigers with 18 points on 9-of-14 shooting from the field. Liam Rush stepped up with 15 points, including 3-of-5 from three-point range, Seth Scott 14 points and 11 rebounds and Jonny Flynn 13 points and five assists.

Chris Goulding also added 16 points, including 3-of-5 from beyond the three-point arc, and he and his teammates knew that they had to lift at half-time.

"We went into the change room at half-time and had a good, hard look at ourselves. We were getting caught in some cheap stuff that we try to take ourselves away from and they did pretty well with that," Goulding said.

"We just pretty much told ourselves to man up at half-time and play our game to try and claw this thing back gradually.

"At half-time we knew that we had to just get it back close and then we knew if we execute that we have some good one-on-one players, and can make plays to get this thing over the line. And we did that."

Johnson scored a game-high 20 points and pulled in 12 rebounds for the 36ers with Weigh scoring 14 points, Gibson 10 (and seven assists) and Schenscher 10 but Adelaide shot just 25-of-63 from the field at 40 per cent, and 3-of-19 from three-point range at a paltry 19 per cent.

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