Adelaide 36ers become 1st non-NBA team in 7 years to win preseason game in U.S.
The Adelaide 36ers entered rarified air Sunday with their stunning 134-124 victory over the Phoenix Suns.
The four-time NBL champs became the first non-NBA team to win a preseason game in the United States since Turkish powerhouse Fenerbahce did so in 2015 against the Brooklyn Nets, per ESPN's Kevin Pelton.
Real Madrid accomplished the feat a year later on their home floor versus the Oklahoma City Thunder.
"Just didn't give them the respect that they deserve as a pro team," Suns head coach Monty Williams said postgame, according to ESPN. "It's a great opportunity for us to learn."
Adelaide shot the lights out from beyond the arc, drilling 24-of-43 from downtown. The Aussie club led by as many as 16 points and outscored the Suns 16-13 on the fast break.
Guard Craig Randall and forward Robert Franks led the 36ers' balanced offensive attack with 35 and 32 points, respectively. Big man Kai Sotto added 11 points, two boards, two steals, and one assist off the bench.
"Everyone wants to create history, and I needed to remind my players that while we had this opportunity, we needed to take advantage of it," 36ers head coach CJ Bruton said, per Russell Gould of The Herald Sun.
"I'm excited for my boys and the NBL and the 36ers, and I'm excited that my family is here and happy and seeing my players happy. ... It's not (a) championship, but it's a good start for where our season may begin."
Adelaide will square off against the Thunder on Friday before heading back to Australia for the NBL season opener.
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