A Grind (Review: 36ers vs Cairns 31/12/14)

Adelaide 84, Cairns 77 (OT)

It was a grind for Adelaide (and a bigger grind for those watching) but the Sixers overcame injury, turnovers and a few poor performances to take down the Taipans last night in Cairns.

Adelaide, again down Jamar Wilson, came into this game keen to get it's winning streak to 3 and to end the year with a bang. The Sixers started poorly though, coughing the ball up 9 times in the first half and struggling to find anyone besides Mitch Creek who could regularly score in the paint. Motum and Peach were both having stinkers and a win was unlikely without either of those two dramatically stepping up in the second half. Cairns were having similar problems, with Scottie Wilbekin having some success but struggling to get his team mates involved.

The tide turned in the second half with Motum stepping up big time. He scored 12 in the fourth quarter, including a big 3 to give Adelaide a 72-70 lead before a Wilbekin drive evened the scores and sent the game to overtime. In the OT he hit 4/4 from the line to cap off a key performance- his final stat line of 27 points on 8/10 shooting with 2/2 from range and 9/9 from the line impressive. 

The additional scoring help came from Mitch Creek, who suffered a serious looking shoulder injury late in the game. Luke Schenscher also had a nice game, tallying 16 points, 5 boards, 3 steals and a block. Gibbo had another poor shooting game but ran the offense well and finished with 14 assists, making it back-to-back double-digit assist games. That gives Joey Wright plenty to think about, the team now 3-1 with Wilson out and Gibbo averaging 19 points and 9.5 assists when running the point on his own.

Crawford and Teys also made some handy contributions at both ends. Peach, BJ and Daly will be keen to get back on the court Sunday.

Cairns once again was largely led by Wilbekin (14pts, 5 reb, 6 ast) and Torrey Craig (16pts, 8 ast). Steve Weigh and Shaun Bruce were the Taipans only other players to reach double-digits.

Next up for Adelaide is the Breakers. Expect Wilson to return but for Adelaide to be again without Mitch Creek. No official word on his shoulder but it didn't look great.

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