NBL: Kai Sotto, Adelaide 36ers continue to spiral with OT loss
MANILA, Philippines — Kai Sotto and the Adelaide 36ers absorbed their fourth straight loss at the hands of the Brisbane Bullets in overtime, 106-101, in Australia’s 2022-23 National Basketball League season on Thursday at Nissan Arena.
The 7-foot-3 center had nine points on 4-of-7 shooting, seven rebounds, and two blocks in 15 minutes and 49 seconds of playing time as a starter with the 36ers falling to the eighth seed with an 11-13 record.
Adelaide, which lost five of its last six games, needs to reach the top six to qualify for the play-in as it plays its last four games in the regular season.
Sotto was benched down the stretch as Antonius Cleveland forced overtime with two clutch free throws to tie Brisbane, 91-all, with 1.9 seconds left in the fourth.
Cleveland gave Adelaide an early 93-91 lead in overtime but Brisbane unleashed an 8-1 run capped by Andrew White to steal the upper hand, 99-94, with 1:51 remaining.
The former Dallas Maverick kept the 36ers within one but he committed crucial turnovers that led to the Bullets’ five straight unanswered points, 104—98, with 32.7 seconds remaining.
Tyler Johnson allowed the visitors to stay within striking distance after missing two free throws but he still put on the finishing touches for the home team with a pair of clutch charities with 12.9 ticks left.
Johnson finished with 27 points, six rebounds, three assists, and two steals. Jason Cadee had 22 points, while Aron Baynes added 16 markers and nine boards for the also-ran Brisbane, which improved to a 7-17 record.
Anthony Drmic led Adelaide with 20 points, while Cleveland and Rober Franks had 18 and 17 markers, respectively.