The Perth Wildcats stunned Melbourne United on their home floor with a comprehensive 91-59 victory on Sunday.
With over 10,000 fans packing Hisense Arena in Melbourne for the much-anticipated clash, United started promisingly but could not recover after being overpowered by a devastating 30-9 second quarter from the Wildcats.
Dynamic guard Bryce Cotton led all scorers with 24 points while Lucas Walker finished with 14 points and 12 rebounds. Perth outscored United 16-4 from turnovers and dominated the rebounding 53-35.
Casey Prather (20 points) and Josh Boone (10 points) were the only United players in double figures as Perth’s tough perimeter defence shut backcourt duo Casper Ware and Chris Goulding out of the game.
Prather’s defensive prowess came to the fore early as he blocked a spectacular dunk attempt from Jean-Pierre Tokoto and converted two steals into uncontested slams.
Walker scored seven points for the visitors but David Andersen hit from long range in the final seconds to claim a 24-19 lead for United at the first break.
But the defending champs found their range in the second quarter with Greg Hire nailing three triples to trigger a damaging 21-point turnaround.
Damian Martin and Cotton also connected from deep to close out the half with a 49-33 lead.
Looking to erase a 16-point deficit, United missed nine of their first 10 shots and racked up early fouls with Perth punishing them at the other end.
With frustration mounting in the United camp, Cotton danced around Ware to nail a long two-pointer for a 23-point lead midway through the term as Perth claimed the third quarter 23-14 to effectively end the contest.
Perth improve to 7-3 on the season and will prepare for another clash with New Zealand on December 1 while United fall to a 5-5 win-loss record and will host the Illawarra Hawks on December 4.