In a spectacular game, the Adelaide 76ers needed two overtimes to beat the South East Melbourne Phoenix 116-108.
A near-capacity COVID 19-restricted crowd of 6518 attended the Australian NBL game.
Daniel Johnson and Mitch Creek delivered superstar performances for their respective teams, but Josh Giddey ultimately stole the show.
Johnson, the five-time sixers MVP, was unstoppable again on his way to 33 points on 11/14 shooting and 10/11 from the line, but when he fouled out just before the end of regulation, the Sixers needed others to stand up.
That player was Giddey. He opened up overtime with a steal and breakaway slam before falling face-first onto the court. He bounced back despite bleeding from his mouth.
Then in the second overtime, it was Giddey who took over the game. He set up a basket for Isaac Humphries, then got to the line to make two, and then delivered a three-point play on a drive that ultimately proved the game-breaker.
Australia’s first Next Star signing showed why he’s an NBA star in the making ending up with 16 points, 11 rebounds, and seven assists.
The two teams will now play each other again, also at the Adelaide Entertainment Centre, to open NBL Round 2 on Wednesday.