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GAME REPORT

Patterson Saves Bullets from the Fire v Sixers

The Brisbane Bullets were on a four-game losing streak, about to head on the road, minus Nathan Sobey and down 10 with seven minutes left. Enter Lamar Patterson with perhaps his best NBL performance in Friday's 77-73 win over the Adelaide 36ers.

Things were looking grim for the Bullets on their home floor at Nissan Arena. They had lost their previous four games including three at home and are about to head off on a road stand.

They were also without their superstar Sobey for a second straight game and then the 36ers came into town, minus their own stud Dusty Hannahs and Next Star Mojave King, and put themselves in a winning position.

It was Cam Bairstow and Daniel Johnson doing a lot of the damage early as the Sixers went on a 15-0 run but then when a game breaker was needed, in stepped Manny Malou off the bench.

In his first NBL season having broken down the door for this opportunity with state league performances, Malou drained three huge bombs from beyond the arc either side of three quarter-time to help Adelaide to the 10-point advantage on the road.

The Bullets weren’t done though. Deng Deng and Isaiah Moss helped them back in the game before they went on a stunning 12-0 run to go from seven points down to five up, with Patterson scoring eight of those.

That included a massive throwdown dunk after a horror backcourt pass from Adelaide captain Mitch McCarron. That had the Nissan Arena crowd pumping and there was no turning back with Patterson putting up 32 points to go with six assists, five steals and four rebounds.

Robert Franks added 15 points and five rebounds for Brisbane who snapped their losing slide while Jason Cadee had nine assists despite zero points.

While obviously Bullets coach James Duncan was delighted with Patterson's game, he was quick to point out it wasn’t a one man show.

"Lamar played great and that was clear, and we all understand that but there's other aspects to the game that put us in a position for him to play great," Duncan said. 

"Being down 10 with five or six minutes left in the game, if he ends up scoring 32 and we lose then what does that mean. But he scores 32 and the catalyst for our run was Deng Deng being active, getting in the passing lanes, stealing the ball and getting some easy layups. 

"That has everyone up and about feeling good about themselves, and that's what pushes us over the edge. I want our team to understand the significance of playing the defence and doing the small things. This is what is going to build our culture and what we're trying to do here in Brisbane. Everyone needs to understand that."

Adelaide will rue one that got away with Daniel Johnson finishing with 15 points and 12 rebounds, Cam Bairstow 12 points and seven boards, Sunday Dech 10 points and four steals, and Manny Malou 11 points.

Sixers coach CJ Bruton felt it might have been another game his team let slip, but he wanted to pay tribute to the contribution of Malou.

"I think we've had a few slip through our fingers now, but we definitely controlled the game for most of that," he said. 

"I thought down the stretch there we had some good looks that just didn’t fall over the front of the rim, but Manny came in and gave us some valuable minutes and contributed in that short patch which kept us ticking alive."

The Bullets got the perfect start with a Lamar Patterson three ball but things quickly got ugly for the home team. Things dried up offensively and they were leaking defensively with the 36ers fresh from the break taking full toll.

With Cam Bairstow and Daniel Johnson enjoying their advantages in the block combining for 10 points, Adelaide hit the next 15 points of the game which also included a Todd Withers putback and and-one.

The Sixers were up 15-3 and Brisbane had to respond and it started with three balls to Anthony Drmic and Isaiah Moss. Patterson then hit a couple more bombs for 13 points in the quarter and Adelaide's advantage was just 25-21 by the end of one.

Things really dried up at both ends to open the second quarter with neither team scoring for more than three minutes. Eventually the drought was broken with a pair of Patterson free-throws and then a Kai Sotto finish for the 36ers up the other end.

Mitch McCarron and Johnson helped Adelaide to five straight points for a four-point lead, but little separated the sides with the Sixers narrowly up 38-36 at the half.

Patterson levelled scores up to start the second half and it was the Bullets who made a break this time. Triples to Patterson and Robert Franks had them up five, but Adelaide responded with 13 of the next 15 points.

That included a three-point play from captain McCarron and a triple from Manny Malou who just hit the floor and suddenly it was the Sixers up six, and still four by three quarter-time.

Malou was just warming up too and the only two scores of the first three minutes of the fourth period were his three-point bombs to stretch Adelaide out to a 10-point lead.

Just when the Sixers looked home, they stopped. The Bullets found another gear beginning with a 6-0 run from Deng Deng and Moss. Patterson then inspired the game-winning 12-0 run to get the crucial win as they head on the road.

The Bullets have a short turnaround to taking on the Sydney Kings on the road on Sunday while the 36ers have until next Sunday before hosting the Cairns Taipans.

HUNGRY JACK'S NBL ROUND 11

BRISBANE BULLETS 77 (Patterson 32, Franks 15, Drmic 7, Moss 7)

ADELAIDE 36ERS 73 (Johnson 15, Bairstow 12, Malou 11) 

BOX SCORE 

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