The West

Perth Wildcats star Kevin Lisch would be a certainty for player of the week honours if coach Rob Beveridge had his way.

Lisch stood out as the Wildcats racked up another win away from home, beating the disappointing Cairns Taipans 85-66 last night.

Officially, Lisch had 26 points, four rebounds, two assists and two steals, but Beveridge said the American guard's contribution was far greater than what the stats sheet showed.

"Kev was outstanding. It was probably one of the best games I've seen him play," Beveridge said.

"He was undefendable. He could shoot the three, the pull-up, get to the rim and find open players.

"They only had him down for two assists, but that was just ridiculous. He easily had at least five or six."

Cairns had lost six of their previous seven games and were desperate to arrest a slide that has seen them slip to last place on the ladder.

But they were no match for a slick Wildcats team that went hard early, rode the pressure through the middle periods and put the foot down in the final quarter.

"They were a really desperate team," Beveridge said.

"Obviously they've lost a lot of games on the trot now, particularly at home, and they really tried everything.

"They pressured us, switched their defences and did a lot of different things, but we handled everything and really controlled the tempo and controlled the game."

Star big man Matt Knight returned from a torn calf muscle to play a key defensive role against prolific Cairns scorer Cameron Tragardh.

Knight limited Tragardh's output and added 13 points and seven rebounds of his own to have a telling influence on the game.

Jesse Wagstaff (15 points) and Shawn Redhage (10) were also important for the Wildcats, while import Jamar Wilson (17 points, seven rebounds) was the standout for the Taipans.

The Wildcats enter the second half of the season in second place and will fancy their chances of finishing the regular season on top of the ladder.

They have 10 of their last 14 games at Perth Arena, starting with the game against Melbourne next week.

The West Australian

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