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Bullets' NBL focus turns to game two

Brisbane can square the semi-final series against the Perth Wildcats with a win at home in game two on Saturday.

Bullets' NBL focus turns to game two

Brisbane can square the semi-final series against the Perth Wildcats with a win at home in game two on Saturday.

Brisbane coach ANDREJ LEMANIS walks the sideline during the NBL match between Melbourne United and the Brisbane Bullets at Hisense Arena in Melbourne, Australia.
Brisbane coach ANDREJ LEMANIS walks the sideline during the NBL match between Melbourne United and the Brisbane Bullets at Hisense Arena in Melbourne, Australia. Picture:Photo by Darrian Traynor/Getty Images

Brisbane Bullets coach Andrej Lemanis had put Thursday's 30-point loss to the Perth Wildcats behind him before he reached the press conference.

It wasn't a pretty game, from a Brisbane point of view.


They scored only four points in the last quarter to lose 89-59 in game one of their best-of-three semi-final series.

But with game two being played in Brisbane on Saturday, Lemanis couldn't afford to dwell on that performance.

"This game is done; this game doesn't mean anything now," he said.

"They have held service, we go back home, look at the tape and it's important we go in with an aggressive mindset.

"At the end of the day, we needed to be able to get the ball in the paint and get a bit more heat on the rim.

"The second half, our willingness and ability to go inside out wasn't where it needed to be."

The blow-out counts for nil. If Brisbane can win on Saturday, even by one point, the series will be squared away at 1-1.

For that to happen Lemanis will look for a similar defensive effort on Perth's star guard Bryce Cotton.

Cotton averaged 27.75 points per game against Brisbane is four regular season games, including 37 points in round five when the Cats won by three points.

On Thursday night, AJ Davis kept him to just nine points in the first half. And while he finished with a game-high 22 points, 13 of those came from the free-throw line.

"AJ's done a nice job defensively for us since he joined us and we've found his length and size has bothered those smaller guards and it did tonight," Lemanis said.

"Bryce's numbers aren't great, in terms of four from nine (shots from the field) and one of three (from three-point territory).

"We forced him to four turn-overs."

"The one that stands out is 16 foul shots (of which he converted 13), so if we can keep him off the foul line while doing that, then we have a chance."

Brisbane has been a much better side at home than they have been away this season, especially against Perth.

In their three games against the Wildcats at RAC Arena, Brisbane has averaged just 73 points per game.

But at home, in two wins, they have recorded an impressive 96.5 points per game.

But for them to repeat that dose, they are going to need to find a way to score.

On Thursday, only Cam Gliddon (18 points) and Matt Hodgson (10) reached double figures.

They gave up 17 turnovers and 28 fouls, sending Perth to the free-throw line 29 times.

If they repeat those figures on Saturday, game three of the semi-final series, scheduled for Perth on Monday night, won't be required.

AAP


AAP




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