It wasn't exactly the result Illawarra Hawks fans were hoping for on Saturday night, but they still turned out en masse for a fun night of basketball at the WIN Entertainment Centre.
The Illawarra Mercury's mascot Mercury Max was also on hand, giving out free autograph books to fans so to collect the signatures of all their favourite players (keep an eye out for the books at the next home game).
After a promising start that saw the lead change seven times in the opening term, the Hawks were ultimately made to pay for a sluggish second quarter in which the Kings kept them to just three field goals an 11 points until skipper Tyler Harvey sank long bomb on the halftime buzzer.
Overall, Sydney maintained their stranglehold on the Freeway Series rivalry, with a stunning shooting display from bench weapon Kouat Noi burying the Hawks as the reigning champions tipped off their push at a third straight title with a 96-81 win in Wollongong.
The Hawks next play the South East Melbourne Phoenix at home next week.
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