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Hawks dethrone Kings to charge into top four

12 Feb
2 mins read
The Hawks are one step closer to the post-season after a domiant 106-95 win over Sydney.

After falling three points short of the Breakers in New Zealand on Friday night, the Hawks showed few ill effects of the short turnaround, jumping the Kings on their floor and leading by 20 mid-way through the second term.

Skipper Tyler Harvey finished with 21 points and six assists, while Gary Clark was the closer with his 22 points, seven rebounds and five assists. Ever-reliable Sam Froling had an 11-11 double-double, with eight boards coming on the offensive glass.

The Kings hung around, but never got close to re-taking the lead the Hawks resurgence under Justin Tatum continuing into the final round of the competition, and a return to Wollongong for their final home outing against Perth on Thursday.

A win there would ensure the Hawks cannot finish lower than sixth and would see finals basketball, something that seemed a pipe dream when Tatum took the reins on the back of a 2-7 start in November.

All-NBL candidate Gary Clark (22 points, seven rebounds) hit two three-pointers during an 11-0 first-quarter run that put the Hawks in control on Sunday.

That advantage had blown out to 20 points early in the second before Denzel Valentine (21 points, five rebounds, four assists) inspired the Kings to their own 11-0 streak.

But Illawarra, with a tight zone defence and better effort on the glass, pulled the Kings back whenever they kicked away.

Sharp-shooting Tyler Harvey had 15 points by half-time and finished with 19, including four three-pointers.

The Kings hit only two of their first nine attempts from the field in the third quarter as they sought to close the gap.

The Hawks return to WIN Entertainment Centre to take on the Perth Wildcats this Thursday night, before finishing the regular season against Melbourne United at John Cain Arena on Sunday.

HUNGRY JACK'S NBL ROUND 19

SYDNEY KINGS 95 (Valentine 21, Adams 18, Galloway 15)

ILLAWARRA HAWKS 106 (Clark 22, Harvey 21, Swaka Lo Buluk 16)

BOX SCORE

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