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GAME REPORT

Gliddon, Broekhoff Shoot Phoenix Over Bullets

Ryan Broekhoff and Cam Gliddon have been gun shooters their whole careers and returned to that form on Saturday knocking down 10 three-pointers between them in South East Melbourne Phoenix's 98-94 win over the Brisbane Bullets.

The Bullets were again without superstar Boomers guard Nathan Sobey with a knee complaint as they attempted to stop their recent slide of losing five of their past six, and Lamar Patterson and Robert Franks did what they could.

The Bullets star pair combined for 50 of the Bullets' points and as a team Brisbane shot 54 per cent from the field for the night and 40 per cent from deep. 

But they took 10 fewer field goals than the Phoenix, conceded 21 points from 12 turnovers and then South East Melbourne got the shooting boost of Gliddon and Broekhoff.

Coming into the game so far this season, Gliddon and Broekhoff had shot a combined 23/87 at 26.4 per cent from downtown, but that sure changed at John Cain Arena on Saturday.

Gliddon got rolling hitting all four of his threes in the first period to go 6/6 for the game for 20 points while Broekhoff nailed 4/7 from beyond the arc for 18 points to go with eight rebounds.

Mitch Creek had another 15 points, four rebounds and four assists, Xavier Munford 15 points, five boards and four assists, and Brandon Ashley 13 points and six rebounds.

Phoenix coach Simon Mitchell was relieved to come away with the win after a gruelling schedule the past couple of weeks.

"I'm glad it's over, I'm glad this six games in 14 days is done and I'm looking forward to having a day off tomorrow, and I think the blokes will too," Mitchell said. 

"It was a little disappointing the way we closed the game out, but at the end of the day Brisbane really came strong at us today. 

"We were just hanging in there I think from a physical standpoint and I know in one of the last timeout I was looking at the guys, and they looked jaded and fatigued. They hung on and I'm proud of them for that."

Patterson delivered another 27 points, seven rebounds and five assists for Brisbane with Franks adding 23 points, eight boards and five assists. Anthony Drmic also put up 11 points and three assists.

Brisbane coach James Duncan was happy with the majority of what he's team did and knows that sometimes a game just comes down to that last shot falling or not.

"It was a really, really good effort and we have no regrets. We can walk out of this game knowing we gave the right effort and that's 100 per cent," Duncan said. 

"Are we disappointed with how the game ended? For sure, we not only got Robo's good luck at the end which we were able to execute which I was pretty happy about. Throughout the course of the game we were getting plenty of open looks and shots just weren’t dropping. 

"That's just what happens in games sometimes, we can be pretty unlucky. We had 22 assists, we had 12 turnovers which is a season low for us and they had 33 rebounds and we had 31. 

"It's something that we can build on, I just feel like the guys are pretty frustrated from this game and obviously the last one because they put the effort and work to work out of here with the W, it just didn’t happen that way."

Brisbane started well going up 6-2 early before Robert Franks put them back in front with seven of his team's opening nine points. Ty Harrison then came on to give Brisbane a boost inside with a couple of buckets and both South East Melbourne bigs Zhou Qi and Brandon Ashley picked up two fouls.

However, Cam Gliddon then came on and delivered what had been the trademark for much of his 271-game NBL career. He knocked down four three-pointers in a remarkable finish to the opening term to put the Phoenix on top 30-23.

Ryan Broekhoff then joined the three-point party knocking down a couple early in the second quarter to help the Phoenix out to a double-figure lead, but Brisbane finished the half better to close the deficit to 50-47.

It was a hot shooting half from both teams with Gliddon and Broekhoff combining for 23 points on 7/9 from deep for South East Melbourne but Brisbane went at 62 per cent as a team from the field.

However, they did take 11 fewer shots and had seven turnovers for 13 Phoenix points directly from those.

It was quite the seesawing third quarter. Patterson was on fire early for Brisbane with a couple of threes and eight points in the opening minutes, but then Gliddon steadied the Phoenix with his fifth triple of the night.

South East Melbourne then went up seven only for Brisbane to respond thanks to two quick three balls from Franks. But again the Phoenix responded with the last four points to lead 77-71 by three quarter-time despite Brisbane still going at 62 per cent.

While the Bullets wouldn’t go away, South East Melbourne continued to hold them at bay including with Gliddon and Broekhoff hitting another triple each. A Mitch Creek inside finish had South East Melbourne up six with 46 seconds left, but it wasn’t done yet.

Patterson and Franks both scored to bring the Bullets within a point with 13.4 seconds left. Xavier Munford hit a free-throw but the Bullets had the ball out of a timeout with 11.9 seconds down two.

Franks got a good look at the three, but it wouldn’t fall and Broekhoff was able to grab the defensive rebound, made both free throws and the game was done.

The Bullets now take on the Cairns Taipans in the Far North on Thursday while the Phoenix will be next up at home to the Perth Wildcats next Saturday.

HUNGRY JACK'S NBL ROUND 12

SOUTH EAST MELBOURNE PHOENIX 98 (Gliddon 20, Broekhoff 18, Creek 15, Munford 15)

BRISBANE BULLETS 94 (Patterson 27, Franks 23, Drmic 11) 

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