A final-quarter blitz from import Craig Randall proved decisive as the 36ers bounced back from a bad third period and a shock opening-game loss to score a 90-80 NBL home win over Illawarra Hawks.
Adelaide (1-1) dominated early and led by 12 in the first quarter and 13 in the second on Saturday evening.
However, their offence misfired in the third and they trailed the feisty Hawks by two going into the final stanza.
Randall, who shot two-from-10 in Thursday’s 25-point loss to the JackJumpers, hit four triples In Adelaide’s final-quarter surge, scoring 17 of his game-high 28 points.
He took over the 36ers offence, scoring 13-straight points for them to help establish a 79-65 lead.
Randall gave ESPN a simple explanation for his dominance, saying, “My teammates got me the ball when I was open”.
Illawarra (1-3) fought hard in the closing minutes, but could not get the gap below seven.
Randall, who was criticised in some quarters for his body language after Thursday’s shock home loss to Tasmania, battled through the first three quarters on Saturday, but seemed to fire up after a verbal spat with the Hawks’ Deng Deng.
The American was well supported by his import colleagues in former Hawk Antonius Cleveland and Robert Franks, both of whom scored 16, with the former missing just one of six field-goal attempts.
Veteran centre Daniel Johnson added 10 points and eight assists while Anthony Drmic scored nine.
Deng topped Illawarra’s box score with 18, and Tyler Harvey contributed 16, but hit just four of 15 from the field, under pressure from old teammate Cleveland.
Adelaide started much better against the Hawks than on Thursday, when they ended the first quarter down 32-10 to the JackJumpers.
They surged to a 9-2 lead and were up by eight and six at quarter and halftime respectively.
While they lost momentum in the third it was a much-improved performance after their midweek shocker, and underlined the potential shown in their recent win over NBA side Phoenix.
“We disappointed ourselves, so we just wanted to come back and redeem ourselves and have a good game,” Randall said.
The 36ers win ended a run of five successive away victories from different teams across this season’s competition.