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Cotton bomb hands Perth epic NBL victory

Bryce Cotton’s incredible three-point dagger with 1.3 seconds left in overtime has spurred the Perth Wildcats to a gripping 104-102 NBL victory over the valiant New Zealand Breakers at MyState Bank Arena in Hobart.

After Vic Law’s last-second fadeaway tied the scores at 88-all at the end of regulation on Monday, Cotton seized control of the extension, scoring 12 of Perth’s 16 points, including the sealer.

With his side trailing by a point, Cotton rebounded Finn Delany’s missed trey, sprinted forward and swished the clutch triple, while fouled by Yanni Wetzell.

“I was anticipating a double and it didn’t happen, I think there was a miscommunication,” Cotton said.

“Once that happened and I saw a pathway, my eyes lit up and I wanted to take my time and follow through.”

Law (39 points at 74 pe rcent) and Cotton (32 points, nine rebounds, eight assists) were typically magnificent for the Wildcats, who had to dig deep to secure their fifth straight win, ahead of their first home game in three months on Sunday.

“I’m guessing it was a great game to watch from a fan’s perspective – lots of big shots from both sides, both teams were out there battling,” Perth coach Scott Morrison said.

“The nice thing for us is we were able to hit the last shot.

The Wildcats jumped the Breakers early, NZ coach Dan Shamir lamenting his team’s defence during an early time-out, as Perth led 24-17 at quarter-time and 47-40 at half-time.

The Wildcats stretched their advantage to 11 points in the third term before young NBA candidate Hugo Besson (23 points, six triples) unleashed a remarkable perimeter shooting exhibition, to give lion-hearted Wetzell (17 points, 19 boards) some belated help.

Scoreless at half-time, Frenchman Besson single-handedly outscored the Wildcats 14-6 to close the third term, including one bomb from almost halfway to put his team up 68-67 at the long break.

The pulsating fourth period, which saw several lead changes, ended with Law sinking the equaliser with 1.8 seconds remaining, making up for Todd Blanchfield’s missed free throws five seconds earlier.

Cotton, who had just 10 points at three-quarter-time, went to work in the fourth – magnificently shaking Tom Abercrombie for his first trey, then stepping back for another triple with 35 seconds left before dominating overtime in style.

“The beginning was a little slow, then we played some good (basketball) and left everything on the floor,” Shamir said.

“We fought, we made shots

“They made one more big play at the end.”

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