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HomeSportsCairns Taipans end Sydney Kings’ historic road-win streak in OT thriller

Cairns Taipans end Sydney Kings’ historic road-win streak in OT thriller

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It took the better part of two seasons, but the Sydney Kings are road dogs no more after the Cairns Taipans ended their 17-game road win streak on Monday night. 

The Kings had started the season 5-0 on the road, which continued their 12-game streak from the previous season, but Cairns were more than up to the challenge, downing the reigning champs 94-88 in overtime. 

The Taipans had to rally to claim the win, at one point down by 14 points in the fourth quarter, but a massive night from Keanu Pinder was able to secure the win, as he went for 30 points and 13 rebounds. 

This was clearly personal for Pinder, who had been vocal early in the week about being the ones to finally end the Kings’ success away from Qudos. 

For the Kings, Xavier Cooks was predictably massive, contributing 25 points and 10 rebounds, but the 2022 Finals MVP fouled out of the game just after halfway through the fourth quarter, leaving the door open for the eventual Cairns comeback. 

Speaking after the win, Taipans coach Adam Forde said that he knew it was just a matter of time before Cairns took the lead, with Cooks’ fouling out providing the necessary momentum. 

“I felt real confident going into overtime,” Forde said.

“I thought momentum was in our favour.”

Echoing these statements was Forde’s opponent, Kings coach Chase Buford, who acknowledged that losing Cooks may have lost them the game. 

“We were doing well, they fouled Xav out, we didn’t do so well after that,” Buford said.

“We had our opportunity, we turned it over a lot, we didn’t handle the rough moments that we couldn’t control.”

This win continues a momentous season for the Taipans, who move to 7-4 for the season and currently occupy the third spot on the ladder, behind only Sydney and New Zealand. 

Their current form is doubly impressive when you consider they’re coming off a season where they finished second last in the league, with a season record of 9-19. 

They will look to continue this form next round when they take on the Adelaide 36ers on Friday, before the Kings will have their own battle with Adelaide two days later. 


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