Perth 91, Adelaide 85
The Wildcats ended their surprising losing streak to the 36ers today with a hard fought 91-85 win in Adelaide. It took Perth an extra period and the fouling out of Adam Gibson and Daniel Johnson to finally overcome their recent nemesis.
Adelaide had led and maintained control for most of the game on the back of strong performances by Daniel Johnson (23 points, 3 rebounds and 1 assist) and Adam Gibson (13pts, 5 rebounds, 6 assists). The 36ers went into the final change up 62-51 and looked likely to pull off yet another win over their bitter arch-rival. The game swung though during the fourth as players started fouling out of this tightly called game.
5:20 Adelaide 65, Perth 62
Jesse Wagstaff fouls out
2:57 Adelaide 69, Perth 66
Adam Gibson fouls out
1:11 Adelaide 74, Perth 68
Daniel Johnson fouls out
1:10 Adelaide 74, Perth 69
Shawn Redhage fouls out
There's no denying Wagstaff and Redhage had been crucial but Gibson and Johnson had been Adelaide's best by a mile and were the go-to scorers in the 4th. This left Adelaide at the 1:11 mark with this lineup
Still an ok lineup but lacking a "go to" scorer. Perth still had one of the floor- last year's MVP Kevin Lisch, who had been struggling to that point but at least he was on the floor. He proved his value, hitting a key 3 that got Perth to overtime and from there he took over, scoring 9 in overtime to give his team a crucial win.
There's no shame in losing to Perth, especially with no Gibson and Johnson down the stretch but this game simply highlighted more problems.
After a solid game last week versus Sydney, Luke was a ghost this game. Struggles when he has to play on strong and agile guys his size (Dunigan) and had a forgettable night, collecting more fouls (5) than points (4) or rebounds (3). Unacceptable performance considering his cost to the club.
2/ What to do with Mitch
Massingale's departure opened up more time for Mitch Creek, who had a good game with 13 points and 7 rebounds in twenty-two minutes. "Created" some baskets from nothing and played solid D. The problem is where he's getting his minutes. He really should be getting more of Weigh's small forward minutes, who today registered an astonishing 43:31 minutes, returning 8 points and 6 rebounds (yes, less than Mitch in double the time). Creek was subbed out at the 7:16 minute mark of the last quarter not long after an airball 3 but didn't return until there were 7 seconds left in the 4th. Weigh played the whole 4th quarter, registering...
0pts (0/1 FG, 0/2 FT)
It was a bad night from range and the three point line.Adelaide shot 2/13 from three and undid some great work in getting to the free throw line, hitting just 27 of 43.
It's rumoured Adelaide will have a replacement for Massingale this week. The pressure is on Clarke and the administration to make sure he's good, especially in light of ...
-Townsville's work in turning Jason Forte and Curtis Withers into Gary Ervin and Luke Nevill
-Melbourne turning Kevin Braswell into Jonny Flynn
-Perth's incredible effort in finding a quick import replacement for Matt Knight in Mike Dunigan, who averaged 17.5 points and 8.5 rebounds in his first weekend in the league.