Adelaide 91, Perth 86
A devastating second quarter performance by the Adelaide 36ers saw them build a big enough lead to hold off a fast finishing Wildcats team, 91-86.
After Perth scored the first basket of the second quarter to get them to 23-25, Adelaide went on a 14-0 run to see them comfortably lead 39-23. The run was built upon a stifling zone defense and a 36ers team desperate to run and attack the basket with every opportunity. Gary Ervin and Jason Cadee in particular came up with big plays, keeping Perth on the back foot. At the end of the half it was Adelaide by twenty, 51-31. Perth shot the ball at just 24% for the half while Adelaide shot over 50%. Adelaide won the quarter 26-10. It was far from game over though.
Perth tried to make up some ground in the third but didn't get far. It won the quarter 29-23, finding the basket with a bit more ease thanks largely to Shawn Redhage, who scored Perth's first 9 points of the quarter on his way to 16 for the period. Outside Damian Martin's block party, the Cats struggled to slow Adelaide at the other end. Ervin and Johnson both had 5 for the period but Adelaide incredibly had 9 players contribute to the scoreboard for the quarter. Like we predicted yesterday , the first three quarters were going to matter little going into the fourth.
It took Perth just over three minutes to cut Adelaide's lead to single figures. With 1:09 left, a Jermaine Beal three had cut Adelaide's lead to 89-86. Adelaide was looking shaky on offense and the man on man defense that it had moved to was giving up some open shots. Perth wouldn't score again though, missing it's next 4 attempts while two clutch Adam Gibson free throws got Adelaide over the line.
The win saw Adelaide become the first team to beat Perth this season and kept Adelaide with a perfect home record at 4-0. The wins will be taken but it will be a minor concern that the team again gave up a huge lead. Plus I really want to see Adam Doyle get some action. Adelaide will also sweat on the injury suffered by Jarrid Frye in the third to his already troublesome ankle. The team's depth can cover him for a few games if needed and perhaps the coaches should consider it with it's next six games against bottom four teams.
Perth got little offensively out of anyone besides Redhage and Beal, with Ennis struggling and Knight and Jervis providing little. Damian Martin (11pts, 7 boards, 5 assists, 3 blocks) was outstanding at the other end but had little help.
Gibson (30min, 10pts, 1 reb, 4 ast). Good defensively and got to the line more than usual, including those two clutch shots in the final minute. Highlight was a block on an Ennis 3 late.
Cadee (30min, 10pts, 2 reb, 5 ast). His best game of the year. Had some early impact and as he started making plays his confidence rose, including some aggressive plays on Martin and Ennis. Some game- breaking passes his biggest contribution.
Ervin (33min, 22pts, 5 reb, 3 ast). Has been sublime in the last month. Offensively he's in career form, killing teams with his quickness. Leadership and desire just as important to this team.
Teys (2min, 0/0/0). Only a few first half minutes. No impact.
Schenscher (12min, 1 pt, 5 reb, 1 ast). Only a few chunks of action but contributed.
Frye (7min, 6pts, 0 reb, 0 ast). Limited minutes and then got injured. Three nice baskets and some solid D on Ennis though.
Petrie (30min, 10pts, 8 reb, 1 ast). Some nice plays and defensive work but struggled to contain Redhage when on him.
Anthony (8min, 2 pts, 2 reb, 0 ast). Looked a little out of sorts in the first half but came up with some key plays in the second half.
Johnson (28min, 24pts, 5 reb, 1 ast). Had a field day when defended by Jervis and also troubled Knight. Loves playing Perth.
Creek (15min, 6pts, 6 reb, 1 ast). A nice ally and some good defensive work.