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R14 Report: Relentless Wildcats hammer listless Tigers
Sunday, January 13, 2013, 06:57:35 PM

The Perth Wildcats returned home to a sold out Perth Arena for the first time since December 14 and dominated the Melbourne Tigers with an emphatic 73-58 victory.

After winning their last three matches at Perth Arena in 2012 the Wildcats had to go back on the road for another four games due to the staging of the Hopman Cup.

However, they picked up where they left off by completely dominating the Tigers after Melbourne got off to a fast 9-1 start.

Shawn Redhage then came off the bench for the Wildcats to steady the home team as he scored eight of his 18 points in the first quarter. The captain also had seven boards and four assists.

Matt Knight had 14 points and eight rebounds, Kevin Lisch 12 points and Greg Hire 10 points and seven boards as well for the Cats.

In a disappointing effort from the Tigers, Jonny Flynn top-scored with 19 points, six boards and five assists.

While Perth coach Rob Beveridge was glowing in his praise of his team's performance, he wasn’t going to let them get away with a poor final period.

"We absolutely smothered them defensively and it was one of the best performances of defence you will see," he said.

"We held them to 37 points for three quarters of the game, but then we completely shut up shop. Everybody just stopped playing and from that I'm extremely disappointed.

"The guys should be as well particularly the senior players in the team who let that slip away like that. To get out-scored in that final quarter 21-7 is pretty disappointing."

It took the Cats three and-a-half minutes to score in the first quarter and the Tigers looked capable of the boilover, but from that point it was all Perth. The home side ended up leading 16-14 at quarter-time on an athletic driving buzzer-beater by Damian Martin.

Bayed on by their rapid crowd the Wildcats then held Melbourne to just six second-quarter points to lead by 13 at the main break

Melbourne might have scored the first four points of the second half but it mattered little with the Cats responding with a 10-run, and then two three-pointers to Greg Hire and another to Kevin Lisch saw the home side lead by 29 points by three-quarter-time.

The Tigers put on some highlight reel plays in the last quarter, Bennie Lewis catching fire with two dunks, an amazing one-handed alley-oop slam and a three-pointer, while Lucas Walker showed off his own handiwork above the rim.

But it mattered little in the scheme of things as the Wildcats cruised to the 15-point win

Melbourne coach Chris Anstey was only too happy to make his feelings known on both his team's poor rebounding and the unsportsmanlike calls made on Chris Goulding, Nate Tomlinson and Matt Burston.

"They got 20 offensive boards and that's just embarrassing," Anstey said.

"We felt like we did a pretty good defensive job to hold them to 33 per cent from the field and 20 per cent from three, and our defensive game plan worked OK, but for 90 per cent of the time because they went and got the offensive board they ended up scoring eventually."

Perth Wildcats 73 (Redhage 18, Knight 14, Lisch 12)

Melbourne Tigers 58 (Flynn 19, Lewis 11)

Crowd: 12,336 at Perth Arena