Wildcats Too Good For Kings
Reigning champions Perth Wildcats have shown their elite bounce back qualities once again, putting up a stunning 70 point opening half against ladder leaders Sydney Kings on their way to a 96-77 win at RAC Arena on Friday night.
Having lost their past two matches the pressure was on Trevor Gleeson's men leading in to the clash against the Kings, who had lost just one of their opening 12 games to sit four games clear on top of the table.
Bryce Cotton and Casper Ware traded early baskets at opposite ends of the floor, before Andrew Bogut produced some fine work under the bucket to fire up the locals and give his team an early lead.
What followed was one of the most breathtaking quarters in Wildcats history, as the home side scored a whopping 40 points to open up a gap between the teams that was never overhauled.
Nick Kay was dynamic at both ends of the floor, while Cotton and fellow import Terrico White couldn't miss from anywhere, Bogut and Ware's impact completely stymied by an improved Wildcats defensive effort.
The Wildcats put up 70 points in the first half alone, the highest score by any NBL side this season and the best by any NBL side since 40 minute halves have been implemented, the margin 25 points at half time.
The second half was a more scrappy affair, the Kings narrowly winning the half 32-26 but it mattered little, the Wildcats recording their ninth win of the season and handing the Kings their second loss.
Cotton (27 points) was in stunning form, while Nick Kay recorded a double-double with 19 points and 13 rebounds. Terrico White shrugged off recent injury concerns with 20 points, Dario Hunt with 11 boards as the Wildcats won the rebound count overall 58-32.
The Kings had few winners on a tough night, Bogut with just two points after quarter time to finish with 12, captain Kevin Lisch getting through his return unscathed but failing to hit the scoreboard in 17 minutes on court.
Both teams are back in action Sunday as Round 10 continues, the Wildcats on the road to play the South East Melbourne Phoenix at Melbourne Arena and the Kings at home to the Cairns Taipans, who won earlier on Friday 108-90 over the New Zealand Breakers.
PHOTO CREDIT: NBL Website.