Nick Kay posted his 12th double-double of the season as the Perth Wildcats turned up the heat defensively in a 89-59 Game 1 semi-final victory over Brisbane at RAC Arena, in Perth on Thursday night.
The Tamworth export got the better of his battle with Cam Bairstow, with 18 points and 10 boards. Bairstow could only manage five points and four rebounds.
Despite Perth starting strongly, Brisbane got rolling to start the second quarter on the back of Cam Gliddon catching fire. He was running brilliant off screens and getting open on the curl and he had 10 of his 18 points for the game in that three-minute patch.
Brisbane was then still right in the contest, trailing by just one at half-time. And even halfway through the third quarter, they were within five. But then Perth took over in emphatic fashion the rest of the way.
Over the last 15 minutes of the game, the Wildcats outscored the Bullets 36-11 and kept the visitors to just four points the entire fourth quarter – the equal worst in NBL history.
It puts the 'Cats one win from yet another grand final appearance, heading into Game 2 at Brisbane Entertainment Centre on Saturday afternoon.
While Bryce Cotton only took nine shots for the game and some of AJ Davis' defending of him was effective, he did get to the line 16 times for 13 of his game-high 22 points on the night to go with six rebounds and six assists.
Terrico White put up 17 shots and while he only made six, five of those came from beyond the arc as he finished with 19 points, five rebounds, three assists and two steals.