Cotton stars in Wildcats win
A first half scoring blitz from Wildcats star Bryce Cotton has helped Perth to a second straight home win, defeating Adelaide 92-82 at RAC Arena on Monday night.
Cotton dominated the match from the outset, scoring 23 points in the first half alone to help set up the win. Wildcats centre John Mooney posted yet another double-double with 11 points and 14 rebounds, while Mitch Norton chipped in with 13 points and was crucial in defence.
But it was the Cotton show for most of the night. "I don't want to sound ungrateful, but you kind of get used to it don't you, because he performs at such a high level," Wildcats coach Trevor Gleeson said.
"He raises everyone's performance out on the court. He's just a joy to watch when he gets going."
Adelaide shot at an excellent 57 per cent from the field, including 10-of-20 from long range.
Daniel Johnson led the way for the visitors with 19 points, while Tony Crocker started well before finishing with 13 points.
But it was the rebound battle where Adelaide crumbled, with the Wildcats winning the vital stat 44-26.
The offensive rebound tally was even more damning for Adelaide as the Wildcats dominated with 23-5.
The result improved the ladder-leading Wildcats' record to 11-4, while Adelaide are struggling at 7-12.
The 36ers entered the match minus injured duo Josh Giddey and Isaac Humphries.
They were dealt a further blow in the dying minutes when star guard Brandon Paul, who played only in short spurts despite not carrying an obvious injury, rolled his right ankle after taking a three-point shot.
Cotton scored 11 points in the opening term, and the rampage continued in the second quarter as he nailed shots from everywhere.
By the end of the half Cotton had 23 points to his name, and he looked to be a chance to become the first player since Chris Goulding in 2014 to crack the 50-point barrier in the NBL.
Adelaide coach Conner Henry, who was given a warning earlier in the match, copped a technical foul in the final quarter after Cotton was fouled while attempting a three pointer.
Cotton nailed all four free throws to extend the margin to 10 points, and the 36ers were dealt a double blow a short time later when Keanu Pinder and Sunday Dech fouled out, with Adelaide's victory chances going with them.
Henry rued his side's poor rebounding display, and lauded Cotton as the best import to play in the NBL.
Perth is back in action against Illawarra on Friday night at the same venue, while Adelaide play next Sunday against Cairns.
IMAGE: The West Australian.