Nick Kay's Perth Wildcats can secure the NBL premiership in Melbourne on Sunday after star import Terrico White put on a sizzling shooting display on Friday night to give them a 2-1 lead in the best of five grand final series..
White scored 31 points, including seven of 10 from long range to lift the Perth side to a dominant 96-67 win over Melbourne in game three.
After scoring 10 points in both the first two games, Kay was again a solid contributor with eight points and seven rebounds (four offensive and three rebounds).
The Wildcats trailed by for points early in the match, but a 13-1 run helped lift them to a five-point lead by quarter time.
Melbourne's shooters were almost nonexistent in the first quarter.
Sharpshooter Chris Goulding failed to score, while Casper Ware's three points came in the dying seconds from the free-throw line.
The second quarter was a physical arm wrestle with neither side able to break free.
Goulding finally got on the scoresheet with a long-range bomb, but that was his only contribution for the term.
David Barlow helped fill the breach with 12 points for the first half, but Melbourne's struggles from three-point land were proving costly.
The Wildcats led by six points at half time, and put the game to bed with a dominant third term.
White got hot from three-point land, nailing 4-of-5 of his long-range attempts in his 17-point haul for the term.
The Wildcats led by 19 points at the final change, and there was no coming back for Melbourne from there as White continued the carnage.
Goulding was restricted to five points, while Ware (10) was also well below his usual output.
Barlow (13) and DJ Kennedy (13) tried to fill the void, but it wasn't nearly enough, with Wildcats skipper Damian Martin producing an exceptional defensive display.
United put a huge emphasis on shutting down Bryce Cotton (16 points), with Ware shadowing his every move.
But they didn't have enough weapons to stop White, who was simply irresistible, especially in the defining third term when the Wildcats outscored Melbourne 28-15.
"I just shoot what's coming. When I'm feeling it, it's like the basket is a big trash can," White said.
Australian Associated Press