Perth Wildcats announced themselves as a big, bad basketball machine in a 91-57 demolition of Wollongong at Challenge Stadium on Saturday night.
The 34-point margin was the Wildcats' biggest win of the season and while they have inflicted several similar beatings this season, none have been with the same physical intensity of the latest one.
Desperate to avenge a humiliating 25-point loss to the Hawks in the last game between the two sides and to overturn a deficit in their head-tohead record this season, the aggressive Wildcats emphatically ticked both boxes.
Perth coach Rob Beveridge, whose team was on the wrong end of a 22-12 foul count, made no apologies for the way in which the Wildcats played to get their desired result.
"We came out to make a statement, this is our home court and this is how we're going to play the game," Beveridge said.
"We wanted to be relentless and completely focused and New Zealand on Friday will be the same. We're going to come after them."
American recruit Galen Young showed how crucial he will be to the Wildcats' title chances, playing a key defensive role in his home debut.
Young came off the bench midway through the first quarter and immediately set about imposing himself on the contest.
Within 40 seconds he had two fouls to his name, one for elbowing an opponent.
"I like to play a physical game and that's what they brought me in to do," Young said.
"I'll be the anchor on defence. Give me their best big man and let me at him. You have to let them know that you're out there.
"This is a young team and we have a lot of finesse players, so if I have to pick up some fouls to let guys know it's not going to be a cakewalk tonight then so be it."
With young gun Stephen Weigh back to his scintillating best, the Wildcats led from start to finish and kept Wollongong to the lowest score of any team this season.
It was also the NBL foundation club's lowest total in more than 30 years as they struggled without injured import Tywain McKee.
Weigh was restored to Perth's starting line-up and repaid the faith shown in him, registering a double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds.
Captain Shawn Redhage (17 points) and Drew Williamson (14) also had an impact on the scoreboard.
Williamson was handed a rare start in place of US import Kevin Lisch and Jesse Wagstaff stepped into Luke Schenscher's centre role, with Beveridge making a statement to his two underperforming stars.
"It's about accountability and if the players aren't going to perform they're not going to play," he said.In Saturday's other fixture, Melbourne kept their play-off hopes alive with an 87-64 win over Cairns.
Morning dog walk... Not bad, Perth http://t.co/zvoJ5MD184
@danielricciardo looking good boss. Good luck for tomorrow, can you get a reschedule for the race start? 5am in Phoenix is a bit too early.
Towel Waving Army has got to be in full effect tonight #TWA http://t.co/RRlkVywlh5
Lol!!! "@swimhardy: I'm comin' for ya @MichaelPhelps, got a hole in one last night http://t.co/9YP0VWRB1u"
@fclutterbuck well said Freddie!
@bry_87 thanks bryony :)
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