36ers clinch second spot on NBL table

Nathan Sobey of the 36ers finishes with authority against the Hawks. Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images

The ejection of star Nathan Sobey didn't stop the Adelaide 36ers from rolling to a 111-87 NBL rout of the Illawarra Hawks in Wollongong on Sunday.

Sobey (15 points) was automatically banished from the game after receiving his second technical foul with Adelaide ahead by two late in the third quarter.

The Sixers quickly regrouped, taking a 76-72 lead into the final period and dominating the Hawks down the stretch.

Adelaide's win assures them of finishing second on the ladder - behind minor premiers Melbourne United - and home court advantage in a best-of-three semi-final series with either New Zealand or Perth.

Daniel Johnson top-scored for the Sixers with 21 points, American guard Shannon Shorter was outstanding with 20 and Mitch Creek finished with 16.

NBL MVP favourite Demitrius Conger led the Hawks with 27, while Mitch Norton and Tim Coenraad had 15 points apiece.

Second-placed Adelaide's record stands at 17-10 heading into next week's final-round home game against Brisbane.

The Hawks jumped to a 16-10 lead, prompting 36ers coach Joey Wright to call an early time-out and vent his anger at his team's sloppy start.

The Sixers responded with renewed aggression to forge ahead, but Illawarra forward Tim Coenraad scored 12 points off the bench to put his side in front 32-29 at quarter-time.

Shorter led a balanced attack, as the visitors regained control and pushed the margin up to 10 late in the second period. He had a team-high 13 points at halftime and Adelaide held a 57-48 lead.

The Hawks fought back in the third quarter before being dismantled in the final period.