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Sport Wildcats beat Kings to stay top of NBL

12:15  06 january  2018
12:15  06 january  2018 Source:   msn.com

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Wildcats player Angus Brandt reacts after missing a rebound.© AAP Image/Mick Tsikas Wildcats player Angus Brandt reacts after missing a rebound. The Perth Wildcats remain on top of the NBL ladder after grinding out a 76-68 away win over the Sydney Kings on Saturday.

The Wildcats crashed in the fourth quarter of a 97-86 loss in Adelaide on Thursday night, but stood up when it counted against a Kings outfit desperate to earn just their sixth win of a disappointing season.

Sydney fought back from an 11-point deficit to take the lead in a tight fourth quarter before the Wildcats scored the last nine points of the match.

Bryce Cotton led the way for Perth with 18 points.© AAP Image Bryce Cotton led the way for Perth with 18 points. The Kings stayed in touch with Perth until the visitors closed the first half on a 12-2 scoring run to take an 11-point lead into the main break.

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Jerome Randle took charge for the Kings with 12 of his team-high 18 points coming in the third term as they outscored Perth 21-14, but apart from Brad Newley's 13 points, the reigning league MVP lacked support on offence.

Bryce Cotton led the way for Perth with 18 points while high-flying import Jean-Pierre Tokoto added 14 and seven rebounds and Derek Cooke Jr chipped in with a double-double (10 points, 14 boards).

The victory places Perth one win above Melbourne United and New Zealand Breakers on the ladder with a 12-6 win-loss record.

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Kings' Dane Pinea competes for possession with Wildcats player Lucas Walker.© AAP Images Kings' Dane Pinea competes for possession with Wildcats player Lucas Walker. Cotton looked dangerous from the outset with two three-pointers in a nine-point first quarter. But Randle and Jeremy Tyler got the home side going and Todd Blanchfield added eight points.

The Wildcats took a 22-19 lead into the second quarter before Newley hit a three-pointer to level things up. Then Perth centre Angus Brandt muscled his way to seven quick points.

Issac Humphries cut Perth's lead to one with four minutes left in the half but a Cotton triple and dunks to Cooke Jr and Tokoto saw the visitors score the final seven points to head into halftime with a 45-34 lead.

Randle tried to inspire the Kings with consecutive buckets to start the third quarter and Newley nailed another long bomb but Perth blew the lead back out to 11 before the Kings surged again to be down by four points at the final change.

The Kings opened the final quarter on a 7-2 run with a Humphries dunk giving the home side their first lead of the night.

After trading baskets into the closing stages, Jesse Wagstaff's first shot from long range gave Perth a six-point buffer and Tokoto's fast break finish ended Sydney's hopes.

The Wildcats return to Perth to prepare for Friday's top-of-the-table clash with Melbourne United while Sydney host the Adelaide 36ers next Saturday.

Wildcats win continues Bullets NBL misery .
Brisbane again squandered a good lead to allow the Perth Wildcats' Bryce Cotton to steal a valuable NBL win with a final quarter rampage.The Bullets led by as much as 21 in the second quarter, before Perth import Bryce Cotton hit an amazing running basket to steal the game off them 81-80.

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