Wildcats fall short of comeback win against Bullets
Trailing by 16 points at three-quarter time and as much as 20 during the third quarter, the Wildcats cut the margin back to three with three minutes on the clock to make a game of it.
But the Bullets steadied to prevail in a thrilling contest - 84-79 – as Perth were left to rue a slow start.
Big man Keanu Pinder was the Wildcats’ best for a second game in a row, hitting a game-high 22 points - including 11 in a massive final term – to go with five rebounds.
Tai Webster (11 points) continues to improve after an early-season foot injury, while his older brother Corey also scored 11 in an important performance off the bench.
New import Kristian Doolittle was a presence at both ends of the floor, reeling in the most rebounds in the game with 11.
Former Wildcat Mitch Norton returned to RAC Arena for the first time since his off-season exit and scored the first points of the match.
The Bullets jumped out of the blocks to open up a 15-point lead before Hyrum and Michael Harris had a real impact in changing the momentum after entering the court.
Hyrum’s (six points and five rebounds) rebounding and physicality were impressive, while Michael (six points) scored some tough buckets when Perth desperately needed them.
Trailing 20-9 at the first change, the Wildcats grew in confidence in the second term to continue closing the gap.
There were some team-lifting defensive plays from Alex Sarr and Bryce Cotton, while the latter combined with Pinder for a stunning alley-oop to bring the house down.
From double-digits down for most of the half, the home side did well to pull it back to a manageable 42-36 by half-time.
It was all Brisbane in the third quarter with their outside game hurting the Wildcats as Nathan Sobey (17 points), Chris Smith (16) and Josh Hannan (15) proved to be a handful.