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NBL 2014/15 Round 15: Sixers close in on fourth with huge win over Wildcats
Adelaide has moved closer to a finals berth with a pulsating 106-102 NBL win over the Wildcats in Perth.
The Sixers managed to fight back from a number of second half deficits, including a six-point hole midway through the final term, to put the pressure firmly on Melbourne United, who currently occupy the coveted fourth spot.
There were plenty of highlights on the offensive end in a wild and high-scoring first half as both sides traded turns at the lead throughout.
The Sixers started brighter and grabbed an early four-point advantage as Brock Motum and Adam Gibson set the pace, cancelling out some Shawn Redhage brilliance for the home side.
A Luke Schenscher tip-in at the horn gave the Sixers the lead, but that didn’t last long and the lead changed hands almost as often as the ball changed possession in the second term.
Despite opening a six-point lead with just two minutes to play in the half, the 36ers couldn’t hold the lead and a late surge, capped by a Damian Martin buzzer-beater, handed the Wildcats a one-point lead at the main break.
After a quiet first half, Tom Jervis (14 points, 9 rebounds, 5 assists) came to life in the third term as the ‘Cats managed to get out to a six-point lead as three-quarter time approached.
The Perth centre was huge at both ends of the floor, with his industrious play capped by taking a charge on Schenscher.
However, in keeping with the script, the Sixers rallied to within a point again, with a Motum dunk getting his teammates off their seats just before the break.
The final term started much slower than the previous three, with neither team scoring for two minutes before a Jervis bucket got the ‘Cats running.
The home side again managed to get a break on their opponents, extending the margin to six as the 13,000-strong crowd found its voice.
Just as the home side threatened to run away with it, the 36ers rallied again, with a Motum three-point bomb silencing the crowd and levelling the scores at 97 with just over two minutes on the clock.
Both sides traded baskets over the next two minutes until Adelaide regained the lead on a pair of Brendan Teys foul shots.
With eight seconds remaining and the Sixers' lead sitting at two points, Jermaine Beal threw an errant pass and Motum threw down a dunk at the other end to give his side a four point lead and a huge win.
— NBL (@NBL) January 16, 2015
Motum finished with 31 points and 13 boards in an enormous effort for Adelaide, while Wilson added 19 points, 5 boards and 4 assists.
Daniels (24 points, 6 rebounds) and Jesse Wagstaff (23 points, 7 rebounds) led the ‘Cats in defeat.
Adelaide will now host bottom-placed Wollongong on Sunday as they look to move even closer to a finals berth, while Perth will host Melbourne next Wednesday in what looms as a massive contest with finals ramifications.
Perth 102 (Daniels 24, Wagstaff 23, Redhage 19)
Adelaide 106 (Motum 31, Wilson 19, Petrie 15)
@ Perth Arena