Adelaide 102, Perth 79
The Big 3 led Adelaide tonight to another big home win, this time a 23 point victory over league leaders Perth. The win sees the teams back to square at 2-2 with both teams winning their home games. Let's hope we're lucky enough to see these two face off in the Grand Final series.
Perth had little to play for in this ones besides gaining a mental edge over their long time rival heading into the playoffs. Adelaide would have been keen to atone for their drubbing in Perth last month and to confirm they are in in some good form.
The teams traded baskets early with a Shawn Redhage 3 getting Perth out to a 10-9 lead. Adelaide then went on an 8-0 run, getting 3's from Ervin and Gibson and an inside bucket from Petrie. It was level pegging from there, with a Creek ally from Cadee finishing the quarter to give Adelaide some nice momentum and a 27-20 lead going into the second. While Adelaide looked good, Perth had been hitting their threes (5/11) and looked dangerous.
Then the wheels fell off. Sort of.
After a good first quarter, the Cats shot 3/23 from outside for the rest of the game with Wagstaff, Hire and U'u combining to go 0/14. The number of shots taken by Hire and U'u in particular gives a hint as to what went wrong- that Perth appeared to put the cue in the rack. Hire played 7:04 for the quarter, U'u 5:06 and Burdon 4:20 as Perth rested it's big guns for extensive periods (only 4 players played more than 20 for the game). Adelaide won the quarter 25-17 to hold a 15 point half-time lead, 52-37. Perth had hit just one three for the quarter, while Adelaide got four from Ervin (2), Carter and Creek.
The Cats started to fight their way back in the third quarter and managed to outscore Adelaide 24-23 for the period but didn't do enough to reduce the deficit. Adelaide was getting some good minutes from it's bench with DJ starting to work his way into the game with 10 for the quarter. It was Adelaide 75-61 going into the fourth.
Like the champion they are, Perth came out hard early and a big Erik Burdon 3 had Adelaide's lead back to 78-70 with 6:31 left. Adelaide then put the brakes on and blew Perth out of the building. Anthony Petrie, who'd been relatively quiet to that point, closed with nine points for the quarter, highlighted by a big 3 and ally-oop to close the game. Gibson and Johnson also chimed in with 3's and Luke Schenscher came up with some easy baskets inside to give Adelaide a big win nearing the playoffs.
This was Adelaide at it's best- playing hard defense and attacking the opposition from inside and out. Adelaide won the three-ball battle, hitting 13 triples (13/21) to Perth's 8 (8/34). It won the boards 45-44 and assists 25-16. All ten players gave something and Joey Wright will be super pleased with the extra "bits" he's getting from Teys and Carter in particular. Schenscher and Creek also made big contributions and Adelaide is looking dangerous with so many weapons heading towards the playoffs.
It was a great game to be at and and the only things fans will leave concerned about are the clearly hampered Gary Ervin, late leg injury to Adam Gibson and the umpiring, which sunk to new lows with far too much guesswork involved. Even the shot clock crew had a bad night.
Gibson- Continued his great shooting form and did all the other things Gibbo does. Solid.
Ervin- Struggled with apparent lower back issues (confirmed by him at half-time and let's just say he was "forthcoming" in letting everyone know) but battled manfully. 17/7/7 in 28 minutes and balanced his inside and outside game well.
Teys- Stat line doesn't do his game tonight justice. Lots of "one percenters" that helped Adelaide keep or build it's lead.
Petrie- Massive when the game mattered.
Johnson- Very good second half after a quiet first. Even dived on the floor once!
Cadee- Some nice passes but shot 0/4 as he continues to struggle with his shot.
Schenscher- Found space inside and went to work at both ends. 12/11 in 25 minutes.
Carter- Minutes continue to build as he continues to come up with big defensive plays and some helpful threes.
Anthony- Not many minutes for him with Schensch playing so well.
Creek- Nailed back-breaking ally and three to close the first and second quarters respectively. Solid contribution for 13 minutes.
|Points from Turnovers: 13 Points in the Paint: 24 Second Chance Points: 17 Fast Break Points: 0|
|Coach: Joey Wright Assistant:|