Wildcats take decisive Grand Final lead
The 2020 NBL Grand Final series is still without a home court winner, as the Perth Wildcats rebounded from their loss in game two to take a 2-1 lead with a 111-96 win at Qudos Bank Arena on Sunday.
Bryce Cotton and Nick Kay both starred for the visitors, who will host game four next Friday night with a chance to close out the series.
Trevor Gleeson’s side burst out of the blocks after a poor showing in game two on Friday night, jumping out to a ten point lead inside five minutes.
Miles Plumlee responded early after being dominated by Andrew Bogut at RAC Arena, posting six points to become an offensive threat in the opening term.
Kay and Clint Steindl were immense from long range, both posting two three pointers in the first quarter to help the Wildcats to an eleven point lead at the first break.
Bryce Cotton started to get rolling in the second, the NBL20 MVP with the first five points of the quarter before another Steindl three pushed the margin out to 19 points.
Brad Newley and Didi Louzada started the comeback push for the home side, no home fans to make any noise for the Kings as was the case for Perth at RAC Arena on Friday night due to the ongoing COVID-19 threat.
Newley was on song for Sydney as he posted 16 points in the second term alone, both teams trading baskets late in the quarter but Perth still with a comfortable ten point advantage at the half.
Jay’sean Tate became the main offensive threat in the third term for the Kings, opening up the quarter with the first five points before back to back threes from Kevin Lisch levelled the scores.
Kay and Cotton then stood up in a crunch game in the context of the series, both with clutch moments as the Wildcats went on a 21-7 run late in the term to turn for home with a 14 point advantage.
Try as they might the home team couldn’t overhaul the deficit in the last, Kay too good down the stretch with a career high seven three point shots made on the day for the All-NBL20 First team representative.
Cotton produced his third straight 30 plus points game in the series with 31 points, while Kay contributed 30 points and 12 rebounds, making 7-9 shots from beyond the arc.
Perth now has the chance to close out the series next Friday at RAC Arena, with the away side having won all three matches so far in the best of five affair.
PERTH 111 (Cotton 31, Kay 30, Steindl 13)
SYDNEY 96 (Tate 20, Newley 19, Lisch 16)
IMAGE: Fox Sports.