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Perth Wildcats vs Sydney Kings Game Report

The Perth Wildcats have immediately rediscovered their mojo, disposing of the Kings 81-69 in both sides' final Australian Basketball Challenge hit-outs. A trademark third-quarter defensive blitz did the job a day after Illawarra made a mockery of their fabled stopping ability, while a 9-1 scoring run to end the quarter extended the gap to a comfortable 13 with a quarter to play. Casey Prather top-scored for the 'Cats with 16 points and four rebounds while excitement machine Jaron Johnson netted 15 and crafty veteran Shawn Redhage 15. Brad Newley (game-high 25 points on 9/13 shooting) was Sydney sole source of consistent offence while Greg Whittington (16 points, seven boards) had his moments in the second half. The champions had a point to prove after Sunday's shellacking and it was evident from tip-off. They kept the high-powered Kings offence scoreless for over four minutes on their way to a meek 14 on the quarter while Redhage and Prather – who threw down a spectacular two-handed jam in traffic – did all the first-quarter damage. Tempo instantly picked up in the second, but in somewhat concerning signs for the champs' playmaking in the post-Jermaine Beal era, Prather's attempts to take over the game ended only in turnovers. Whittington found some confidence late in the second term with a couple of energy buckets and took that into the third. But he and Newley were the lone hands in the 14-point period. Newley opened the half with a top-of-the-key three and hit another minutes later, while some Whittington magic in the open court got the fans on their feet. The rangy Georgetown product got in the passing lanes for three stylish finishes including a vicious coast-to-coast jam that was one of the dunks of the tournament, and he let Redhage know about it. A sole Tom Garlepp free throw was the only Kings point outside of Newley and Whittington on the term, while the 'Cats were getting theirs from every corner. The old saying, 'you make your own luck' rang true when Greg Hire chased down a heavy Whittington rejection to mid-court, turned and flung a half-court prayer on the shot clock, while Johnson and Corban Wroe headed the late-quarter run that ultimately won the game. Sydney snatched a single competition point with a 17-16 final term, but the 'Cats dominated the day with six. PERTH WILDCATS 81 (Casey Prather 16, Jaron Johnson 15, Shawn Redhage 15) SYDNEY KINGS 69 (Brad Newley 25, Greg Whittington 16, Tom Garlepp 10) BOX SCORE
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