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Wildcats take lead in semi against Bullets

Perth Wildcats dominated the second half of the first of a best-of-three semi final series against the Brisbane Bullets, winning 89-59.

Wildcats take lead in semi against Bullets

Perth Wildcats dominated the second half of the first of a best-of-three semi final series against the Brisbane Bullets, winning 89-59.

BRYCE COTTON of the Wildcats controls the ball during the NBL match between the Sydney Kings and the Perth Wildcats at Qudos Bank Arena in Sydney, Australia.
BRYCE COTTON of the Wildcats controls the ball during the NBL match between the Sydney Kings and the Perth Wildcats at Qudos Bank Arena in Sydney, Australia. Picture:Photo by Brett Hemmings/Getty Images

Perth Wildcats are one win away from claiming hosting rights in this year's NBL championship series after beating Brisbane Bullets in game one of their best-of-three semi-final series at RAC Arena on Thursday night.

The Wildcats, who finished top of the table, dominated the second half to run away with an 89-59 victory. Brisbane, fourth, scored only 19 points after half-time and just four in the last quarter.


Bryce Cotton, who was kept to just nine points in the first half by AJ Davis, finished with a game-high 22 points. Terrico White added 19, including two three-pointers to close out the third quarter; the latter giving the Cats a 16-point lead on the three-quarter-time buzzer.

Nick Kay was again important, with 18 points and 10 rebounds.

The Wildcats will win through to their seventh grand final series in 10 years with victory in Brisbane on Saturday.

Perth is chasing a record ninth NBL title and their fourth championship in six seasons.

Brisbane coach Andrej Lemanis, who flew from Kazakhstan midweek after duties with the Boomers, needs to find some help for Cam Gliddon in offense if the Bullets are to turn things around.

While Lamar Patterson dropped just three of 14 shots and Cam Bairstow one of nine, Gliddon top-scored for the Bullets with 18 points.

Gliddon, Matt Hodgson, and Patterson all finished the game on four fouls, while three of their teammates attracted three apiece.

They might also do some extra free-throw shooting if they get a chance, after dropping only 10 of 21 bonus shots.

Perth led by seven at the first break, but Brisbane could have been much closer. They worked hard to get to the foul line, but dropped only two of the six attempts they earned.

Seventy seconds into the second quarter, after a Gliddon alley-oop dump and three-pointer and a powerful Lamar Patterson driver - the Bullets led by one. Gliddon dropped 11 points for the term and despite attracting eight fouls for the quarter, the Wildcats managed to hold just a one-point advantage at the main break.

If the Bullets can bounce back on Saturday and a third game is required to decide the semi-final, it will be played in Perth on Monday night.

Perth coach Trevor Gleeson was happy with the way hid side bounced back offensively in the second half, but attributed the win to his side's defence.

"It was an outstanding defensive effort, especially in the second half," Gleeson said.

"We just made some adjustments out there (in the second half), offensively, getting in spots a bit better.

"But our defence was pretty spot on."

Brisbane coach Andrej Lemanis, who flew from Kazakhstan midweek after duties with the Boomers, needs to find someone other than Cam Gliddon in offence if the Bullets are to turn things around.

Gliddon dropped 18 points, but Lamar Patterson made just three of 14 shots and Cam Bairstow one of nine.

"Obviously we stopped scoring," Lemanis said.

"Defensively, we ended up doing a pretty good job, especially considering how the offence dried up.

"Some of their guys made threes for them. Well done; sometimes when you have a bit of a lead, you can play with that confidence."

If the Bullets can bounce back on Saturday and a third game is required to decide the semi-final, it will be played in Perth on Monday night.

AAP


AAP




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