Saturday, 26 October 2013

The Perth Wildcats continued their winning streak with a win over the New Zealand breakers in Auckland

The Perth Wildcats beat the New Zealand Breakers 89-96 on Thursday night at the North shore events centre. In round 3 of the NBL this is the 4th straight win by the Wildcats to start the season and they are starting to look unbeatable. James Ennis was at his impressive best finishing with 29 points and Jermaine Beal looks to have finally got his shot working since arriving in Australia and finished with 19. For the Breakers their import point Guard Kerron Johnson top scored with 19 points and Alex Pledger had 16. A key match up and definitely the most athletic match up was between James Ennis and Tom Abercrombie, getting in early foul trouble Abercrombie was forced to sit out large portions of the game and finished with 14 points.

Daryl Corlletto started hot hitting the first 5 points of the game and Perth were not being able to get it through the rim. The breakers were on fire but with 5 quick fouls for New Zealand Perth were able to catch up a little finishing the quarter  26-17. A first quarter highlight was a blocked dunk by the breakers rookie Reuban Terangi on dunk that was about to be HUGE by James Ennis. It was called a foul but it was all ball and Posterised James Ennis with some surprising athleticism from the rookie. Ennis had a slow start not making his first field goal till the last 30 seconds of the quarter but immediately followed that with a full court drive and lay up to finish the quarter.Alex Pledger dominated the paint early with 8 points in the opening quarter.

Mika Vukona worked hard all game and was winning the battle between himself and Perth's Shawn Redhage with some great Defense and quick footwork getting around him with ease. It was a fast paced second quarter with both teams running the floor and working hard. Tom Abercrombie was doing well on defense trying to contain James Ennis but when he picked up his 3rd foul he again had to take a seat and Perth just took the lead 36-37.
In the last 27 seconds and last play of the half Kerron Johnson runs the floor on a fast break but slows it down to find an open CJ bruton to hit the 3 at the end of the shot clock not giving Perth enough time to get a bucket as the half closes with the Breakers just up 47-45.

Jesse Wagstaff had a big game finishing with 17 points and made the shots when it counted with 4-5 from long range half way through the 3rd quarter keeping Perth in front 56-52. Alex Pledger kept the Breakers alive cleaning up the scraps around the basket and is an imposing force on the inside. Perth keep a 5 point lead at the end of the 3rd quarter 67-72 and Tom Abercrombie picked up his 4th foul in the last 20 seconds of the quarter. Through the game Abercrombie did the best at containing Ennis but with such limited court time his impact was denied.

Starting the final quarter the Breakers kept fouling and Mika Vikona got his 4th in the first minute back on the court and the Wildcats took off to a 10 point lead with 7 minutes left to play. When Darnell Lazare made a big block on Damian Martin the crowd got loud and CJ bruton stepped up to keep them in the competition with some great plays from the veteran, doing everything and with Kerron Johnson's amazing speed the Breakers were only down by 4 with 4 minutes left 81-85. James Ennis got a huge dunk over Kerron Johnson but Johnson immediately answers with a one man fast break and drive keeping the Breakers alive. A lot of fouls were called with two hard working teams, with 2 players from both teams fouling out. In the end the Breakers just couldn't run down the wildcats losing by 7 points 89-96.

The Perth wildcats are on a 4-0 run and with James Ennis in the lineup they are starting to look unbeatable. I'm sure all the Wildcats fans are hoping the Miami heat wont need Ennis any time soon.
In a post game interview James Ennis spoke about his time in Australia; "I'm loving it, everyone's competing." When asked about the differences between NBA and NBL he aptly stated "Its the big athleticism over there here everyone likes to shoot."
I'm not a Wildcats fan but i'm also hoping he stay's, for a while longer at least, he is a very exciting player to watch.

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