So you’re telling me there’s a chance?
Just like Jim Carrey’s Lloyd Christmas in the cult classic Dumb and Dumber, the Sydney Kings need something akin to miracle to make the NBL Finals.
They did their bit, knocking off Brisbane Bullets in an 83-82 thriller but, after South East Melbourne downed New Zealand Breakers earlier on Saturday, the Kings now need the Phoenix, on Tuesday, to do the impossible — lose to the Bullets … by 80 points.
Just like Mary Swanson, that’s not gonna happen.
Ever the optimist, departing Kings coach Adam Forde was still dreaming of a record-breaking Phoenix loss, but he admitted he did check the result of the earlier game.
“We didn’t talk about it, but I couldn’t help myself, I had a look at it,” Forde said after the game.
“You can’t help but watch the result.
“That result fell the way it did, I wish (it didn’t) … obviously there’s still a chance.
For the most part, wish those guys good luck in the finals … (but if) somehow we get a record-setting win against Brisbane, we’re still alive, right? So see what happens.”
The prideful Kings, though, got another brilliant performance from their man-mountain Jarell Martin, who muscled his way to a game-high 28 points to lead the way in a topsy-turvy tussle where both teams got out to double-digit leads, before being reeled back in.
But it was a pair of clutch free throws from Shaun Bruce with 13 seconds left — with a little help from a missed lay-up by Bullets import BJ Johnson as time expired — that sealed the deal.
Sydney point guard Casper Ware had 14 off the bench, while the injection of marksman Daniel Kickert, in his 200th game, proved fruitful as he was the only other King in double digits with 10.
Nathan Sobey continued his MVP-like season for the Bullets dropping a near triple-double with 22 points, eight rebounds and eight assists, while Johnson had 17.
The loss put paid to the Bullets’ slim finals hopes, leaving the top four all but set — Melbourne United and Perth one-two, with the Phoenix game deciding if they, or the Illawarra Hawks, finish third.
Brisbane coach Andrej Lemanis, who will also depart his post after Tuesday’s game, said his team was deflated when it learned of the Phoenix result.
“When New Zealand lost to South East Melbourne, obviously the sting came out of this game a little bit and it was always going to be a bit of a challenge to maintain an intensity that, over the course of 40 minutes, gives you a chance to be successful,” Lemanis said.
“It’s easy to take shortcuts when there’s no jeopardy on the game and I thought that showed itself at various times tonight.
“You could feel it in the locker room. Obviously everyone’s excited coming in and anxious … and then immediately we found out the result, everyone goes flat.
“I thought we hung in there, both teams competed, it was an exciting finish to it.”
Asked if he’d be out to do the Kings a favour in Tuesday’s clash, it was classic deadpan Lemanis: “I mean, we’ll just approach the game as we approach the game.”
Originally published as Kings win, but need a miracle to make NBL finals