TAMWORTH'S Nick Kay was instrumental in the Perth Wildcats 81-71 victory over Melbourne United on Friday night.
Picking up 10 points, five assists, four rebounds and three steals, Kay helped the Wildcats take a 1-0 lead over United in the NBL best of five grand final series.
It was a sluggish start for the Wildcats as they trailed four points in the lowest scoring half of the entire NBL season.
However, thanks to Kay, Terrico White (19 points) and Angus Brandt (14 points), the Wildcats clawed their way back to lead by 14 points at three-quarter time.
Wildcats coach Trevor Gleeson said he couldn’t have been happier with his team's second half.
"I thought it was an outstanding second half. It was tough playoff basketball, physical and what you expect from a final. It was a tough, grind out game," Gleeson said.
"We had some really good looks in the first half and just didn’t make them, then in the second half we got some really good looks too and Jesse got hot there a little bit to get us back in the game.
"Terrico was outstanding again."
A late surge from Melbourne in the fourth quarter caused some headaches for the Wildcats, but they proved to have enough class to walk away 10-point winners.
With a 1-0 series lead secured, the Wildcats will now turn their attention to game two of the NBL grand final series at Melbourne arena on Sunday.