Basketball-Sydney Kings end 17-year title drought in front of record crowd


SYDNEY (Reuters) - There was no room for sentiment in Australia's National Basketball League finals as the Sydney Kings swept the best-of-five game series against the Tasmania JackJumpers to snatch the title for the first time since 2005.

The JackJumpers had earned the affection of the nation after reaching the finals series in their inaugural season but, despite leading at half and three-quarter time in Games Three, were unable to stop the Kings running out 97-88 winners.

The Kings were without league MVP Jaylen Adams for the last two "Grand Final" games after the American point guard injured a hamstring in the series opener.

After a 95-78 win in that game, the Kings won Game Two in Hobart 90-86 last weekend to give themselves the chance to sweep the series on their own court on Wednesday night.

Power forward Xavier Cooks was named series MVP for his 57 points and 35 rebounds for the Kings over the three games.

Game Three attracted a crowd of 16,149 to the Sydney Super Dome, a record for a NBL finals game and the biggest crowd to watch a basketball match in Australia for three years.

(Reporting by Nick Mulvenney; Editing by Stephen Coates)

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