Nick Kay’s Perth Wildcats will head into the NBL final round on top of the ladder after pulling off one of their greatest comebacks to defeat the Sydney Kings 95-86 in overtime at RAC Arena on Sunday.
After a quiet first three quarters, the charge was led by Bryce Cotton who scored all of his 27 points after the two-minute mark of the third term.
Fourteen of them came in overtime, making it the second-best individual scoring performance in overtime in NBL history.
"Trev and my teammates did a good job of telling me to stick with it, stay aggressive and whenever I do get double-teamed or they hard show to just make plays like they usually do," Cotton said.
"Fortunately, we all had spurts where we got it going, Gus (Brandt) definitely had a hell of a game as well."
Angus Brandt put up a career-high 19 points to go with nine rebounds against Andrew Bogut.
It was the Wildcats fifth straight win and afterwards coach Trevor Gleeson wasn’t underselling the result.
"That's got to be one of the best wins that we've for the year, just showing that grit and determination," Gleeson said.
"Things weren’t going right for us especially at the start of the game and we missed some easy ones, and could have easily just said it wasn't our night.
"But the fight we had and spirit we played with to stay close enough until the last quarter when we got on a bit of a roll was pretty impressive."
Kay finished with nine points, eight rebounds and one assist, while Damian Martin scored 15 points, including the three to send the game to overtime.
Perth started the game poorly, giving the Kings a 14-point first quarter lead, before Jesse Wagstaff and Clint Steindl helped to steady the scoreline.
The Wildcats clamped down defensively but still struggled to bridge the gap until early in the fourth.
However, the Kings once again up a 5-point advantage, before the Wildcats came back to send the game to OT.
It was from that point that Cotton took over, with two three-point players, two triples, and two more from the foul line.
The Wildcats hold a one-win and percentage advantage over both Sydney and Melbourne United going into the final round where they will face Adelaide on Friday night and Melbourne on Sunday in the final game of the regular season.