Adelaide 90, Cairns 86
A hot starting offense led by Anthony Petrie saw Adelaide hold off a determined Cairns outfit 90-86 in Adelaide last night.
The "different" Adelaide performance Joey had predicted this week came true. Adelaide opened with quick ball and player movement with Peach capitalising the most. He scored 11 of Adelaide's first 16, allowing Adelaide to do something it's rarely done this year- build a lead. Brock Motum, who Joey said had not been working hard enough pre-game, looked a different player, simply focused on going to work and not trying to make something from nothing. The Sixers rang up 31 points in the first quarter and held Cairns to 21.
Cairns got back into the game in the second quarter, thanks largely to a trial of some zone defence which import Torrey Craig enjoyed. He found lots of gaps and open shots, scoring 12 of Cairns's 27. At the other end, Adelaide's movement was nowhere near as good, featuring a lot more one or two pass offenses. It was 48 all at the half.
Adelaide wrestled back control in the third, outscoring Cairns 25-15. Jamar Wilson was prominent for Adelaide, scoring 12. Fortunately for Adelaide Torrey Craig didn't get subbed into until the 4:45 mark as Cairns offense spluttered along. Craig and Trigger were the Taipans best offensive weapons and the fact they started the first and third quarters on the bench helped Adelaide greatly.
Cairns made another run in the fourth, getting a 12 point deficit down to 2 with 3:25 left in the game. Adelaide went on a 4 point run to make it 90-84. A Torrey basket had Cairns down 90-86 with 0:30 left before they inexplicably didn't foul Adelaide down the stretch, going down 90-86.
It was a good win but the challenge from here is to string together a few similar performances. The movement was excellent in the first but was not as good for the rest of the game. Adelaide still relied on some individual moments from Gibbo (7/17 for 17pts) and Wilson (4/9 for 16pts). Motum put in the sort of performance we expected would be the norm for him.
Craig (28pts) and Trigger (18pts) were the Taipans best, Wilbekin and Gliddon also having moments but letting themselves down by shooting 6/22.
Adelaide's next game is back at home against Townsville, giving it a chance for it's first back-to-back wins since Nov 2 and to hit the new year in some better form.