ILLAWARRA remain winless this NBL season after slumping to their third straight loss, 103-87, to arch-rivals Sydney on Sunday.
The Hawks trailed for all but the opening minute and looked sluggish from the outset less than 48 hours after suffering a 10-point road loss to Perth.
Kings import Perry Ellis was the star with 33 points while Jason Cadee scored 17.
Demitrius Conger led the Hawks with 21 points while Rotnei Clarke had 15 and AJ Ogilvy had 14.
Kay was the equal next top with nine points.
Hawks coach Rob Beveridge labeled his side’s defensive effort “horrible” post-match.
“Defensively that was one of our worst performances in a long time,” Beveridge said.
“We were so bad tonight with our lack of ability to contain the penetration. We fouled so many times late clock and let them off the hook. We don’t have our trade mark defensive pressure or locking down teams like I know we can.”
“It’s disappointing, it’s frustrating, all those things but we’ve got to lick our wounds and move on real quick.”
Ellis shot out of the blocks with 12 points in the opening quarter, including a pair of triples while Travis Leslie also contributed nine.
Clarke’s injection from the bench sparked the Hawks, with former league MVP dropping eight points for the term, as the visitors trailed by seven at the first break.
Leslie kept the momentum going to start the second while Humphries had four on a 9-1 run that forced Beveridge into a timeout as the lead swelled to 15.
Conger finished two three-point plays in his 10 points for the quarter while Ogilvy hauled his side back into the game with five of his seven points for the term coming from the foul-line.
It was part of a 12-4 run that got the visitors back within eight at the main break. Newley took control of the third term with 10 points while Cadee found his range with three triples in his 13-point haul.
It gave the Kings a handy 15-point buffer at the final change with the hosts good enough to hold it to the finall buzzer.