Wildcats continue winning ways
The Perth Wildcats have made it a clean sweep of the Sydney Kings in season 2020-21 of the NBL, winning 81-67 at RAC Arena on Thursday night.
Trevor Gleeson's side made a statement with the victory, the club rocked by the news in the lead up to the match that dual star player Bryce Cotton would miss the remainder of the season with a leg injury.
Cotton, the reigning MVP, underwent emergency surgery on Sunday after suffering a haematoma to his left quadriceps with the club conceding that his season might be over.
But the Wildcats won their second straight game without him as Todd Blanchfield (23 points), John Mooney (19 points and 10 rebounds) and impressive youngster Luke Travers (16 points and 8 rebounds) stepped up against fifth-placed Kings.
Mitch Norton completely blanketed Kings star Casper Ware, who finished with just one point.
Jarell Martin (20 points) and Jordan Hunter (14 points and 10 rebounds) tried hard for the visitors.
Second-placed Wildcats (25-9) are guaranteed a top-two finish and put pressure on league leaders Melbourne United (25-7) for the minor premiership. The teams clash in a final round blockbuster in Perth on June 4.
The Kings led by a point at quarter time before Perth produced a 32 point second term to open up a 15 point half time advantage, never headed from there as Mooney and Blanchfield starred with support from young gun Travers.
"It was a good statement game for us," Wildcats coach Trevor Gleeson said.
"That was Wildcats basketball and it was great to put it out on the court."
The cold-shooting Kings have become the first team in NBL history to be swept by an opponent over five games in a regular season, putting their finals hopes in serious doubt.
Perth will face Illawarra in their penultimate regular season clash at the WIN Entertainment Centre in Woolongong before their home clash with United.