Home / World News / Late Bryce Cotton heroics help Perth Wildcats past Cairns 88-84

Late Bryce Cotton heroics help Perth Wildcats past Cairns 88-84

Perth Wildcats have stormed home to erase a six-point lead in the final quarter to celebrate coach Trevor Gleeson’s 400th NBL game with an 88-84 victory in Cairns tonight.

The Wildcats appeared in trouble as Cam Oliver and Scott Machado seized control but the reigning champions showed their class as the big names shone.

Bryce Cotton showed his composure with a vital basket inside the last 10 seconds and he then sealed the game with free throws. Cotton scored 24 points for the night.

Nick Kay scored 19 points, won 11 rebounds, had five assists, two steals and two blocks in a commanding effort while Terrico White was also brilliant with 21 points. White nailed a crucial three-pointer late.

Veteran Jesse Wagstaff played a key cameo and changed the game seven points in the first two minutes of the final quarter. The veteran hadn’t scored until that moment.

“It wasn’t pretty but I think the fourth quarter was a good example of what we needed to do,” Kay said.

“We need to scrap, we need to play hard and to those one per centers to win the game. When it came down to it, we did it down the stretch.”

The Taipans had won both of the clashes between the teams this season and were also victorious during their match in January.

Cairns stars Cam Oliver and Scott Machado had threatened to tear Perth apart. Oliver scored 21 points and had 17 rebounds while Machado finished with 13 points and 12 assists.

They combined with an extraordinary alley-oop during the second quarter which electrified the home crowd and then repeated the move in the final quarter.

VideoCairns duo Scott Machado and Cam Oliver combine for a huge alley-oop against the Wildcats.

Oliver and Machado were the difference when the Taipans beat the Wildcats in Perth earlier in the season.

But the Wildcats restricted Cairns to only 33 points in the second half and Kay said the defensive efforts were vital.

“They’ve shot the ball really well against us for the last two games,” he said.

“We knew they were going to come out and let it go again. I’m glad we could kind of take that away in the second half.”

The win lifts Perth to 11-5 and they have now won the same number of games as first-placed Sydney. The Kings have played fewer matches but the Wildcats beat them last weekend.

The Wildcats will play Brisbane at RAC Arena on Saturday in what will be captain Damian Martin’s 300th game for the club.

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