Sydney Kings win NBL grand final opener

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Sydney have scored a 95-78 home win over Tasmania in the opening game of the NBL grand final series, but a big question mark lingers over the health of their league MVP Jaylen Adams.

Former NBA guard Adams, who was the game-high scorer with 18, walked down the race early in the fourth quarter on Friday with Sydney holding a 15-point lead at their Qudos Bank Arena home.

The JackJumpers scored the next seven points to get the deficit down to eight, but the Kings steadied and quickly got the margin back into double figures and cruised to the finish.

The Kings shot 54 per cent form the field and hit 11 of 23 from three-pointers, while Tasmania made just 35 per cent of their shots.

The two teams clash in game two in Tasmania on Sunday and it looks unlikely Adams will suit up for that game and perhaps the remainder of the best-of-five series, though Kings coach Chase Buford was non-committal.

"No updates on Jaylen. Hopefully he'll turn out better tomorrow," Buford said.

It was Sydney's first victory in their last five grand final home games and their first at Qudos Bank Arena.

Only one of the last 24 grand final series has been won by the team who lost the first game.

After a tight first half in which Sydney led by four and three at quarter and halftime respectively, the Kings pulled away in the third.

They outscored the JackJumpers 28-18 with Adams notching eight and Tasmania contributing to their own woes by committing eight turnovers in the third quarter.

It represented a big change from the first half in which the JackJumpers turned the ball over just twice, seven times less than Sydney, and also grabbed seven more offensive boards than the Kings.

"We had to do a better job of taking care of the ball, a better job of keeping them off the boards and a better job guarding," Buford said.

"I thought their defensive energy in the second half, especially that third quarter, was great."

Sydney's other former NBA player, Ian Clark, enjoyed a fine shooting night, finishing with 17 points, while making all three of his long bomb attempts.

Kings captain and forward Xavier Cooks logged 14 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists, while Dejan Vasiljevic also bagged 14 points.

For Tasmania,, Mikyle Mcintosh and Jack McVeigh both scored 14 and Sam McDaniel and Josh Adams 13 apiece, though Adams made just four of 18 from the field.

The JackJumpers led for less than 80 seconds of the match, but never allowed the Kings more than a seven-point advantage through the two quarters.

"I felt we were pretty sound across the board, we were doing a lot of good things," JackJumpers coach Scott Roth said of their first-half performance.

With 12.765, the biggest-ever grand final crowd in Sydney, in attendance, the JackJumpers missed their first four field goal attempts.

They trailed by seven In he second quarter but four players each hit a three-pointer to keep them In the game.

"That first half we felt pretty good, It felt like we were in control of the pace and I think that third quarter got away from us," JackJumpers centre Fabijan Krslovic said.

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