Wildcats secure finals spot with Kings win
The Perth Wildcats have confirmed a 34th consecutive finals appearance with a 110-100 win over ladder leaders Sydney Kings at RAC Arena on Saturday night.
The result also leaves Trevor Gleeson's men with the opportunity to still finish top of the table, with games to come against Brisbane and Adelaide at home before the playoffs begin.
After a loss to Melbourne on Wednesday night the home side started slowly, conceding the first nine points of the game before Bryce Cotton and Clint Steindl got the Wildcats moving, Perth leading by quarter time.
Sydney were missing Andrew Bogut, Didi Louzada and Craig Moller, but did have captain Kevin Lisch for the first time since early December as they looked to lock away top spot.
Perth largely controlled the middle two quarters and seemed to be running away with the game when they led by 16 points early in the fourth term.
Sydney then produced an inspired comeback courtesy of Jae-Sean Tate and Daniel Kickert, but veteran Jesse Wagstaff eased any nerves with a big basket, as the Wildcats steadied to win in a high scoring high octane contest between two quality teams.
Bryce Cotton was the leading point scorer for the Wildcats with 30, while Nick Kay recorded a double-double with 21 points and rebounds, Clint Steindl finding his shooting range that deserted him on Wednesday against Melbourne as he posted 19 points, 5/7 from three point range.
Terrico White returned from soreness with 15 points.
Casper Ware was restricted to just 16 points for the Kings, Tate topping the list with 23 points and Daniel Kickert 17.
Earlier on Saturday Brisbane defeated Melbourne at Nissan Arena, making the task of finals all the more tougher for last season's Grand Finalists.
PERTH 110 (Cotton 30, Kay 21, Steindl 19)
SYDNEY 100 (Tate 23, Kickert 17, Newley 16)
IMAGE: The Murray Valley Standard.