Perth Wildcats demoralizes Brisbane Bullets with 89-59 win in playoff opener


The Perth Wildcats are one win away from their seventh grand final in 10 seasons after beating the Brisbane Bullets 89-59 in the opening game of the semifinal at RAC Arena.

The Wildcats took control of the game during the third quarter, with a one-point lead at half-time in a game that gained a 16-point lead in the final quarter. They demoralized Brisbane defensively and maintained only 19 points in the second half and four in the fourth quarter.

Terrico White sank a batter in three minutes to break the hearts of Brisbane.

White scored 12 points during the third period, while Bryce Cotton scored eight as the Wildcats showed their class.

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White finished with 19 points a night while Cotton scored 22. White came to Perth with a high reputation after winning a grand final MVP award in South Korea and he did not disappoint in his debut in the NBL final.

"He was incredible," said captain Damian Martin.

"He had a really good season while playing with injuries. Sometimes it's hard for him to get a mention of Bryce on the team, but we recruited him because he was the big final MVP in South Korea and he did a great show tonight. "

Nick Kay was also influential for the Wildcats with 18 points and 10 rebounds, while Angus Brandt had 12 points and five rebounds.

Terrico White and the Wildcats passed through Brisbane.
Camera iconTerrico White and the Wildcats passed through Brisbane.Scenario: Getty Images

Cam Gliddon of WA played a leading role in the Bullets with 18 points, while Matt Hodgson scored 10 points and had seven rebounds.

Martin said the defensive effort was excellent.

"I'm very proud of them," he said. "We limit the offensive rebounds and that's when they hurt us in the first half and then they did not give them undisputed shots."

The teams will now travel to Queensland for Saturday's new game. The Bullets must win to send the series to a deciding game in Perth on Monday night.

Perth lost both games in Brisbane this season.

Wildcats guard Mitch Norton failed to recover from a calf injury in time for tonight's game and Sunday Dech replaced him in the lineup. Dech scored six points, including a crucial three points during the third quarter.

The Wildcats ended the season at the top of the ladder and started with an abundance of energy, rushing to an eight-point lead after only five minutes.

At that time, Cotton had five points, three rebounds and one assistant. Perth took a 23-16 lead into the fourth quarter, before Gliddon turned the game around with a stunning second-place finish, scoring 12 points.

But the bullets could not stay with the Wildcats when they increased their intensity.

In the early evening, Melbourne demolished Sydney by 95 to 73 in the other semifinal. They will play again in Sydney on Sunday.


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