Tue, Oct 30, 12:45pm by Staff Writer
The Perth Wildcats remain on top of the NBL standings despite registering their first loss in week three against Brisbane last Thursday night.
The Cats are third favourites to win the NBL Championship at $4.50 after starting the season 4-1.
The Bullets got the better of Perth on Thursday and led at every change, with former Chicago Bull Cameron Bairstow top scoring with 19 points as they prevailed 100-96.
It was the win the Bullets were searching for after a barren second week and after losing to Perth just five days ago in Western Australia.
The Wildcats bounced back in a double overtime thriller on Saturday afternoon defeating Melbourne United 101-96.
Bryce Cotton top scored for the hosts with 31 points, while Chris Goulding had 29 points for Melbourne.
Goulding was forced from the court late in the match with a knee complaint and missed the closing stages of regulation and both overtime periods.
Melbourne missed his scoring down the stretch and faded in the second overtime period, scoring just seven points.
United are $3.30 favourites to win the NBL Championship after taking out top honours last season.
They bounced back from Saturday’s defeat with a hard fought 99-93 win on Monday night against Illawarra at Melbourne Arena.
The home side led by as many as 20 points in the second half only to be pegged back by a spirited Illawarra side.
They cut the margin to just three points in the final term before some timely buckets from Casper Ware and Josh Boone restored Melbourne’s advantage and ensured they came away with a win in week three.
Chris Goulding sat out with the knee issue he picked up on Saturday, but reports are that it was purely precautionary and he is expected to play this weekend.
The Sydney Kings grabbed their first home win of the new season with a 98-90 overtime victory against Cairns in Sydney.
The Taipans are now 0-9 at Qudos Bank Arena, but came as close as they have come to winning at the venue after forcing an extra period.
Import Melo Trimble hit clutch shot after clutch shot for Cairns to keep them in the game as they trailed for much of the last quarter.
He had 29 points but it wasn’t enough as the Kings pulled away to win the overtime period 14-6.
Jerome Randle had 24 points for Sydney, while Daniel Kickert chipped in with 19 off the bench. He had a chance to win the game in regulation but his shot missed and Andrew Bogut’s put back was after the buzzer had sounded.
The Kings are joint favourites with Melbourne United at $3.30 to win the NBL Championship.
The Taipans are $26 to win the title and are at the bottom of the standings with one win from four starts.
Cairns went into Friday’s home game against Adelaide as favourites and held a lead for much of the match, but Adelaide’s final quarter shooting was too much for the Taipans to handle.
A 29-21 final quarter ensured the visitors came away from north Queensland with a 91-83 win, as Nathan Sobey top scored with 22 points.
It was a topsy turvy game for both teams, with neither playing consistently across the 40 minutes in a game full of momentum swings.
Cairns led by eight at the end of the first and trailed by six at half time before evening the scores at three-quarter time.
Adelaide’s second match of the weekend took place in Auckland and they arrived in New Zealand at 1am local time on Sunday morning for a match that afternoon.
The effects of that became clear as the match wore on as they were hammered in the second half, conceding 59 points and surrendering a five-point half-time lead to lose 114-94.
It is the Breakers’ second win of the season and they move to fifth in the standings, while the 36ers are in fourth spot.
Adelaide is $7 to win the NBL Championship, with New Zealand priced at $10.
NBL Championship Odds
Sydney Kings $2.75
Melbourne United $3.30
Perth Wildcats $4
Adelaide 36ers $7
New Zealand Breakers $10
Cairns Taipans $26
Illawarra Hawks $36
Brisbane Bullets $51
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