Australia Wildcats overpower NZ Breakers in NBL win
Bullets bounce back to beat Phoenix in NBL
The Brisbane Bullets ended a three-game NBL losing streak with a crucial 94-82 away win over a disappointing South East Melbourne Phoenix. © Dan Peled/AAP PHOTOS Brisbane forward Lamar Patterson had a game-high 27 points in the 94-82 win over the SEM Phoenix. Facing their seventh straight away game after having last Sunday's home clash with the Phoenix postponed due to the COVID-19 lockdown in Western Australia, the Bullets controlled Thursday's contest at John Cain Arena to snap a three-game losing slide.
NBL MVP Bryce Cotton has emerged from a shooting slump with a vintage performance to fuel the Perth Wildcats' 98-84 victory over the New Zealand Breakers at RAC Arena.
The league's leading scorer tallied 16 of his game-high 32 points in a red-hot first quarter as the two-time defending champions found their groove in a dominant second-half to end round 17 action.
Cotton added 10 assists, while John Mooney (27 points and 9 rebounds) and Todd Blanchfield (18 points) also ensured the Wildcats gained revenge after two recent defeats to the Breakers, who could not overcome the absences of Corey Webster and Levi Randolph.
United extend NBL streak, sweep past Kings
NBL frontrunners Melbourne United have make it 11 wins on the trot after dismantling the Sydney Kings by 25 points.The Kings threw down the challenge to the ladder leaders on Sunday at John Cain Arena by racing out to an 11-point lead with Casper Ware (25 points, five three-pointers) doing everything in his power to end his former club's hot streak.
Finn Delany (21 points) and Tai Webster (20 points) tried hard before both fouled out late as the Breakers (9-18) remained anchored near the bottom of the ladder.
Captain Tom Abercrombie added to their woes after suffering a hamstring injury in the final stanza.
After ending Melbourne United's 11-game winning streak last start, the Wildcats (20-7) inched closer to the league leaders ahead of another blockbuster clash between the teams on Thursday in Perth.
Boom recruit Will Magnay did not make his highly anticipated Wildcats debut with the 22-year-old, who had become available after a stint with the New Orleans Pelicans in the NBA, held out after the Boomers centre spent 14 days in mandatory hotel quarantine.
"We decided not to play him because his body wasn't up to it yet," Wildcats coach Trevor Gleeson said.
Wildcats end United's winning run in NBL
Melbourne United's NBL winning streak ends at 11 games as Perth Wildcats announce themselves as genuine championship contenders.The two-time defending champions overcame a slow start to make a real statement against the league frontrunners in Wednesday's clash at John Cain Arena to pull within two games of top spot on the ladder.
"We anticipate him playing on Thursday."
Cotton, the favourite for a second straight MVP despite a recent cold streak, started with a sizzling step back three-pointer en route to the highest first quarter output by a player this season.
But the Breakers stayed afloat with consecutive three-pointers reducing the deficit to four points at the first break.
The visitors continued to rely on their long-range mastery marked by young sharpshooter Isaac Davidson nailing a spectacular banked three-pointer.
The Breakers, who hit eight of their first 14 attempts from deep, struggled on defence and Cotton made them pay with aggressive drives to the basket as the Wildcats held a slim 51-49 half-time lead.
With Webster and Delany mired in foul trouble, the Breakers lacked scoring punch in the third stanza and the Wildcats capitalised to jump out to a 71-62 lead at the final change.
Their momentum continued with Cotton capping off his irresistible performance with a late dagger from deep.
Kings claim crucial NBL win over Adelaide .
A day after announcing the departure of coach Adam Forde at the end of the NBL season, the Sydney Kings have claimed a 10-point victory over Adelaide.The Kings stunned the league on Saturday when the club announced that Forde would leave his post at the end of the season, prompting an immediate search for a long-term replacement.