MANILA, Philippines – The Adelaide 36ers finally got back to their winning ways in the Australia National Basketball League (NBL), earning a stunning 82-70 road blowout over the fourth-place Perth Wildcats on Thursday, April 14.
Despite staying in the ninth spot of the 10-team league, the Sixers at least improved to an 8-16 record after snapping their four-game losing streak, while the Wildcats breached double-digit losses for a 15-10 slate.
In a bittersweet twist for Kai Sotto, however, he quieted down with just a 2-point outing with 3 rebounds plus 3 turnovers in 12 minutes off the bench a few days after peppering the Brisbane Bullets with a career-high 21 points on 7-of-8 shooting.
His teammates instead took the lead on offense right from the get-go, as Adelaide jumped Perth with a 14-3 blast that turned a 16-12 lead to a 30-15 gap at the end of the first quarter.
Off a 38-49 halftime deficit, things only got worse for the favored hometown Wildcats after the Sixers peaked in the third quarter with a 21-point separation, 67-46, off two Sunday Dech free throws at the 3:26 mark, and never looked back.
Perth only got as close as 12 points in the final frame off a meaningless Bryce Cotton jumper with 32 ticks left to set the final score.
Three Adelaide players breached the 20-point mark in the lopsided affair, namely Dech and Daniel Johnson, who both scored identical game-high 23s, and bench spark plug Dusty Hannahs, who dropped 21 on an 8-of-19 clip in 25 minutes.
Victor Law paced the loss with 20 points, 5 rebounds, and 2 blocks, while Cotton, one of the league’s leading scorers with a 23 points per game average, was limited to just 7 markers on a paltry 3-of-16 shooting.
The Sixers can start a new winning streak on Sunday, April 17, as they travel to Sydney to start another upset bid against the 17-7 Kings at 1 pm, Manila time.
Adelaide 82 – Johnson 23, Dech 23, Hannahs 21, McCarron 8, Withers 5, Sotto 2, Harris 0, Dufelmeier 0, King 0, Marshall 0, Gattorna 0.
Perth 70 – Law 20, Hodgson 16, Blanchfield 9, Cotton 7, Norton 7, Travers 4, Majok 4, Frazier 3, White 0, Zunic 0, Wagstaff 0.
Quarters 30-15, 49-38, 70-51, 82-70.