Illawarra Hawks shock 36ers in NBL

The Illawarra Hawks have snapped a three-game losing streak and dealt the Adelaide 36ers' finals hopes a blow with an impressive 93-84 NBL win at the Adelaide Entertainment Centre.

Sunday Dech (18 points) led an even charge for the Hawks who crashed the Sixers' Friday night party in front of 8824 fans, the biggest ever crowd for an NBL game in South Australia.

Illawarra turned the contest on its ear late in the second quarter, turning a 39-39 deadlock into a 52-39 cushion in two blistering minutes and never looked back, with the final margin flattering the hosts.

Jerome Randle (26 points, six assists) and Daniel Johnson (19 points) were the only 36ers to impress.

Sixers coach Joey Wright slammed his side's lack of effort on the glass (outrebounded 48-34).

"It's hard to control the tempo when you're not rebounding the basketball," Wright said.

"Second-chance points killed us as well.

"They (Hawks) played with a lot more effort in crashing the boards.

"It's always (about) effort."

Dech rattled off 11 of Illawarra's first 15 points to keep his side in the match, Adelaide ahead 23-22 at quarter-time.

The second stanza was evenly-contested before the Sixers spluttered badly late, particularly on the boards - and the Hawks made them pay.

Down by 10 points at halftime, Adelaide drew to within one point on Randle's back before Illawarra, again, took control late thanks to a spark from maligned import Billy Preston.

His contribution was brief but spectacular - seven points including a thunderous third-quarter tip-jam and five fouls in six frenetic minutes - but it was enough to help Illawarra draw clear 69-59 at three-quarter time.

Any prospect of a last-ditch Adelaide revival was swiftly cast aside as the Hawks pressed home their strong advantage, thanks to a couple of stalwarts, Tim Coenraad and AJ Ogilvy.

Undermanned without teenage wizard LaMelo Ball (foot), veteran David Andersen (knee) and late withdrawal Josh Boone (leg), the Hawks' advantage swelled to 18 points at one stage in one of the club's finest wins.

"We felt we had a good game plan going into this which was totally predicated on our defence," a delighted Illawarra coach Matt Flinn said.

"I felt we had control of the tempo for most of the game.

"It's definitely our best win of the season."