Bullets’ season on life support after Wildcats defeat
Brisbane's NBL finals hopes are hanging by the barest of threads after suffering an 85-72 loss at the hands of Perth at RAC Arena on Sunday.
The defeat means the Bullets (14-13) fell out of the top four with one more round remaining in the regular season with New Zealand (14-13) replacing Brisbane in fourth place due to a superior percentage.
Brisbane must beat Cairns at "The Armoury" this Saturday and hope other results go their way to make the playoffs for a second consecutive season.
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The Bullets need South East Melbourne to upset New Zealand on Friday night and require Melbourne United to lose to either Cairns (Thursday) or the Phoenix (Sunday).
If New Zealand, Brisbane and Melbourne all win their remaining matches, they will all finish with 15-13 win-loss records and the team with the best percentage would proceed to the finals.
After 19 rounds, United have the best percentage of the three playoff aspirants.
Brisbane have lost four games at home this season after giving up double-digit leads and those results are coming back to haunt them.
It was a horror weekend for Brisbane, falling to both New Zealand and Perth to let the hard-earned fourth place slip through their fingers after a sizzling six-game winning streak catapulted them into the finals conversation.
The Bullets stayed in touch with the Wildcats at their home fortress where they have now won 102 matches from 128 outings.
Perth led by two points at quarter-time and halftime but edged out to a five-point buffer by the last change.
The Wildcats put the pedal to the metal in the final term, outscoring the visitors 25-17 down the stretch to solidify second spot on the ladder with an 18-9 record.
Bryce Cotton (25 points, six rebounds, five assists) and Nick Kay (23 points, eight rebounds, five assists) were the stars for the Wildcats who also got excellent service from Clint Steindl with 14 points off the bench.
Lamar Patterson had 25 points, 11 rebounds and three assists for the Bullets but received little assistance other than 11-point hauls from both Nathan Sobey and Matt Hodgson. Will Magnay had five points, nine rebounds, two assists, one steal and one block for Brisbane.