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Perth blow Taipans away in NBL semi series

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 17/02/2017 Josh Bristow

Perth Wildcats star Casey Prather. © AAP Image/Tony McDonough Perth Wildcats star Casey Prather. The Perth Wildcats are just one game from the NBL's grand final after opening their semi-final series against the Cairns Taipans with a 91-69 win at the Cairns Convention Centre.

The defending premiers flipped the script against their hosts and will return home with a chance to sweep the series in game 2 on Monday night.

Chief architects of the Taipans demise were the Wildcats duo of Bryce Cotton and Casey Prather.

Cotton tallied 21 points in the first half, which combined with Prather's 13 meant the two were responsible for 70 per cent of their teams total halftime score.

And Cotton wasn't done there; the playmaker had a field day against the usually tight defence of Cairns and finished with 34 points.

Off the back of that Perth rolled onto a 20-point lead early in the third quarter before the shocked home side could finally respond.

An 11 point run from the Taipans gave their sold out crowd hope, point guard Travis Trice attacked the paint to score 15 points, while retiring forward Mark Worthington tried his best to will his side to the win with 11 points.

But foul trouble for star centre Nate Jawai, backup centre Nnanna Egwu and dynamic wingman Tony Mitchell early in the final quarter would rob the Taipans of their intimidation factor.

With those three gone the Wildcats cruised to their eventual 22 point win and will return to the west confident they can sweep the series in Game 2 on Monday night.

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