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  • Writer's pictureSportFM

Kings too much for disappointing Wildcats

Chris Pike


The addition of Tai Webster gave the Perth Wildcats a brief boost but it wasn’t enough against the league-leading defending champion Sydney Kings who scored the emphatic 108-87 Saturday night win.


The quirk of the fixturing meant that Saturday night at Qudos Bank Arena as part of Round 14 was the first time the two teams had met this season, and it didn’t take long for the Kings to stamp their authority.


The Wildcats came into the contest minus Luke Travers but Tai Webster was straight into the starting line-up to make his club debut after signing for the rest of the season last week.

He gave the 'Cats a spark early too when he put up nine quick points at his second NBL club, but Perth just couldn’t do anything about Sydney's offensive onslaught up the other end.


With MVP fancy Xavier Cooks doing as he pleased for the Kings, they led 27 points to 14 by quarter-time and then put up another 32 points in the second period.

The Wildcats' offence was going reasonably well too putting up 27 points in the second period, but at one point Sydney scored 15 consecutive points and led by as much as 22.


The Kings went into the half-time break leading 59-41. While the Wildcats did deliver a vastly improved second half performance, they could never seriously threaten the Kings who went on to cruise to the 21-point win.


The Kings were once again on fire at the offensive end and put up the 108 points on the back of shooting 58 per cent from the floor, 40 per cent from deep and ended up with 10 more rebounds than the Wildcats along with 44 points from the bench to eight.


Xavier Cooks only strengthened his case for MVP by delivering 24 points, 11 rebounds, four assists and three blocked shots for Sydney on 8/10 shooting from the field and 7/8 from the line.

Tai Webster made an encouraging start for Perth with nine early points on debut, but he finished with those nine points to go with six rebounds and three assists on 4/12 shooting in 23 minutes.


Bryce Cotton made a slow start but warmed to the challenge for 22 points and five assists despite only shooting 8/19 overall.


Corey Webster kept Perth somewhat in touch with his first half performance to end up with 22 points, three rebounds and three assists. TaShawn Thomas contributed 16 points and eight boards, and Brady Manek 10 points and seven rebounds.

While Wildcats coach John Rillie wants to see improvement from his group, he couldn’t help but acknowledge the quality of their opposition.

"The pace they play at is fast and it’s never not just through one guy. They play very fast and tonight we didn’t have the required urgency," Rillie said.

"We have patches where we are very good but we are just not consistent against quality teams. Tonight we learnt about the Sydney Kings and their style of play and can learn from that.

"We are trying to mix up our defences to try and disrupt the way other teams play. They are the champions – I remember being in Darwin for the Blitz and everybody was talking about who is the best. Until somebody beats the Kings they are the champions and they kicked our butt tonight plain and simple."


The 'Cats are now back home to host the New Zealand Breakers on Tuesday night.


IMAGE: Getty Images

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