The Perth Wildcats remain unbeaten on top of the NBL ladder after grinding out an 82-72 win over Sydney today.
US import Jermaine Beal had his best game in Wildcats colours, leading the way with 24 points, seven assists and one steal.
Fellow American James Ennis and Shawn Redhage added 18 points each, while captain Damian Martin was at his energetic best on the defensive end with three steals.
Rookie big man AJ Ogilvy had 17 points and 12 rebounds for Sydney, while Ben Madgen (15) and Charles Carmouche (15) were also solid contributors.
Wildcats coach Trevor Gleeson was pleased with the way his team closed out the game.
“I think we had 11 possessions in which we kept them scoreless to start the final quarter, so obviously we got some run outs and our tail was up, and Jermaine (Beal) did a great job of running the point while playing very aggressively,” Gleeson said.
“Today was a bit of a dogfight for us. We started well then we had a buffer and a few unforced errors came into the game, a couple of mental errors that got Sydney up. We just concentrated on getting the rebounds and breaking the game open in the fourth.”
The win at the Sydney Entertainment Centre was the Wildcats’ 12th in a row against the Kings, who are yet to beat the WA team since re-entering the league in 2010.
The Wildcats, who have won five from five this season, held Sydney to just seven points in the final quarter and broke the game open with a 14-0 run.