Adelaide 36ers make NBL history with preseason win over NBA’s Phoenix Suns

The Adelaide 36ers shocked the Phoenix Suns 134-124 in the United States, becoming the first NBL club to beat an NBA franchise in a preseason game.

The 36ers shot a mighty 24 of 43 from long range in the upset win over the Suns — who had the NBA’s best record last regular season — at Phoenix on Monday AEDT.

It was the first visit to the United States for an NBL team since the 2019 preseason.

While other NBL teams had threatened to upset, none had made the deal until the 36ers kept their cool — and kept shooting — against the Suns.

Imports Robert Franks (32 points) and Craig Randall (35) had 16 triples between them, with their teammates smiling as they continued to land efforts well beyond the longest three-point line in the NBA.

The Suns rolled out a full-strength starting five, with Chris Paul, Devin Booker, Mikal Bridges (22 points, seven rebounds), Cam Johnson and Deandre Ayton (22 points) all playing 22 minutes.

But behind Daniel Johnson (15 points) and Mitch McCarron (16 assists, nine rebounds, four points), the 36ers have shown tremendous composure and some thrive on staying close.

And when the Suns’ second unit — featuring NBL graduate Jock Landale (12 points, six rebounds) and former NBL importer Torrey Craig (10 points, six rebounds) — entered the game, the 36ers exploded.

CJ Bruton’s team took a 14-point lead and never headed despite comebacks from the Suns’ starting unit in the second half.

Landale missed a triple that would have tied the scores, while Randall drained three consecutive long triples to push the 36ers forward again for a historic victory.

The 36ers will wrap up their American whistle tour against Australian star Josh Giddey’s Oklahoma City Thunder later this week.


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