Cairns 76, Adelaide 73
If the first thing you looked at from this game was the player stats and saw Scott Christopherson scored 16, you'd assume........
a) we got blown out early and he got some garbage time
b) we blew Cairns out early and he knocked down some threes in the 4th
c) Cadee, Gibson and Crosswell all sat the game out
d) an alien, Space Jam style, had taken control of his body
We'll you'd be wrong you "negative nelly".
This game started very much like last week's clash, with both teams struggling to get on top on the back of some so-so offense. Clarke this time went to his bench early and gave Daly, Christopherson, Pero, Crosswell and Warbout a run in the first quarter. Christopherson nailed a three and two free throws in the first as Adelaide finished the quarter trailing 23-20.
Clarke stayed with most of his bench in the second quarter but finished the last five or so minutes with four starters and Christopherson. Cairns outscored Adelaide 17-16 to give it a 40-34 lead at halftime.Anthony Petrie had been the focal point of Adelaide's offense for the period, scoring 9 of the Sixers sixteen points.
The third quarter was ugly with both teams scoring 13 for the period. Cairns went 5/15 from the field, Adelaide 5/14. Adam Gibson scored 4 of Adelaide's 13 in an otherwise uneventful period.Cairns still led, up 53-49 going into the last quarter.
The game went up a notch in the fourth as Adelaide finally started to get it's game going. The Taipans also lifted their game as the challenge came, stretching the lead to seven several times during the quarter but Adelaide, largely through the work of Christopherson and Petrie, kept coming back. At the 4:40 mark the Sixers took a 62-61 lead on the back of some Scott Christopherson free throws. Cairns then went on a 9-0 run before some Gibson free throws and a DJ "and 1" got it back to 70-67. Not long after that "Gibbo" fouled out, which led to Scott "The Microwave" Christopherson getting back on court. The Taipans got it back out to 73-67 before another 3 by "The Microwave" got it to 73-70. The Sixers fouled Grabau, who calmly sank two free throws to get it out to 75-70 before Anthony Petrie took a leaf from "The Microwave's" book and hit a big three. Cairns 75-73.
Like last week, the 36ers had by now used all their timeouts. After the Petrie three they fouled Wilson, who, like last week hit one of two freebies to allow Adelaide one more improvised play. This time there were only three seconds and it fell into Cadee's. JC sprinted down court and threw up a heave that narrowly missed. Game over.
I'm not sure if it was because I got so side tracked having fun on twitter but you couldn't be too gutted by this game. Neither team was playing at a "playoff level" but the fourth quarter was riveting. Petrie and Christopherson were excellent for Adelaide but they had little help tonight. It was nice to see Christo get some opportunities (eight three attempts) and I would have been even happier if Daly, Warbout and Pero all got over ten minutes. For Cairns, Wilson and Grabau led their team well and ensured a much-needed win in it's eleventh hour playoff run. They have the talent to trouble teams but they need to get themselves together quick.