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Wildcats top Kings and the NBL

AAP logoAAP 17/11/2016 Brad Elborough

The Perth Wildcats have replaced Sydney at the top of the NBL ladder with a commanding 93-80 win over the Kings at Perth Arena on Thursday night.

It was the most focused and complete performance by the reigning champions this season as they started quickly and led from start to finish.

They did have to overcame a couple of Kings comebacks in the second half though, which were led by star swingman Brad Newley.

Perth led by 15 points two minutes into the final term, but by just four with three minutes to go - thanks to Newley, who scored 21 points in the first three quarters and provided a one-man offence for most of the last.

He added another 13 in the first six minutes of the fourth quarter, including four three-pointers and finished the game with 34, while Kevin Lisch added 21.

A long three-pointer from Jesse Wagstaff with 10 seconds to go before the end of the quarter took the margin back to eight points and gave the home side a bit of breathing space.

Perth ambushed the Kings early leading 19-5 less than three minutes into the game.

Sydney couldn't get their offence going apart from Newley and the Wildcats led by 10 points at the first break and by 12 at halftime.

Casey Prather had 19 points on the board by the main break and finished the game with 28.

The win was a statement of intent by the reigning champions as the bounced back from their first home loss of the season, which occurred last round, in overtime against the New Zealand Breakers.

With Damian Martin still sidelined, Cats coach Trevor Gleeson used his bench to great effect as they chipped in 32 points compared to Sydney's 14.

Gleeson said Wagstaff's three-quarter time buzzer beater was vital for his side.

"They had that mini-charge and got it back to five points. It gave us that breathing space to get it back to eight," he said.

"Dexter (Kermich-Drew) then came and shot that three (first score after the restart to take margin back to 11) which was another big play.

"That was great Wildcats basketball, playing unselfish and having each others back, as a team.

"That's our best team win of the year, without question."Sydney coach Andrew Gaze was disappointed with the way his team came out of the blocks.

"We were incredibly disappointed with our first half performance," Gaze said.

"Down the stretch it was 'who is going to make shots' and they made them and we didn't. They got a couple of rebounds and we didn't."

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