ADELAIDE 97, PERTH 86
Going into the 3rd quarter, Adelaide trailed 67-65 after Perth got their act together and smashed Adelaide with a 27-14 quarter.
Then Majok Deng happened.
Deng started the 4th and scored 16 points in 6:07. Not bad. Until that point Adelaide's bench had hardly fired a shot. Moore had an off night. Hodgson- I hope you're sitting down- had foul trouble. Deng and Teys had barely played.
Childress, DJ, Mitch and Shorter had all been solid. Sobey....not so much.
Adelaide defense was very good and offensively they were getting plenty of open shots. Unfortunately some of the shot selection wasn't great but Perth didn't exactly make them pay.
Childress (13 boards) and Mitch (11/13 FT) hustled hard and did plenty of the little things with some great highlights thrown in. DJ battled hard and finished with 19 & 9 on 6/8 shooting. Shorter was generally good with a 13/8/7 line.
For Perth, Bryce Cotton (26pts) and JP Tokoto (20pts) did most of the heavy lifting, with some help from Angus Brandt (8 & 7). D-Mart, Waxy and Cooke Jnr didn't give enough help when it mattered most (for example, Walker fouled out in 16 minutes).
Adelaide looks to have found the right starting unit and when Drmic returns and if Deng can contribute more regularly, the 36ers might just be contenders.
For now though, January 4, 2018 will always be "Deng" night. Plus the night I won a free burger.