Taipans stun holders Perth in NBL boilover

Cairns Taipans have cast a massive shadow over the Perth Wildcats' NBL title defence with an upset two-point win at Perth Arena.

The Taipans produced an impressive three-point shooting display to deny the Wildcats moving in to second spot on the NBL ladder.

Cairns made 17 shots from long range, equalling the league's best for the season, on their way to an 85-83 victory.

The deciding effort from captain Cam Gliddon with 27 seconds remaining restored the lead for th final time as they held on for a fine victory.

The Taipans first six scoring shots in the third term were all three-pointers, as they opened up a 14-point lead.

Taipans coach Aaron Fearne said his side needs to shoot well to be competitive.

"We did that," he said.

"But Perth showed their toughness tonight. They had a chance to win the game and we did everything possible to lose it.

"I still sit there; I can't look at some of the things we did. I'm just proud of the guys."

Perth fought back and took the lead with 38 second remaining in the game and a Bryce Cotton attempt from distance with half a second remaining would have given the home side an unlikely victory if successful.

The Taipans job in the final term was made more difficult by both Jerry Evans Jr and Alex Loughton claiming their fifth fouls midway through the quarter.

But they held on.

The result leaves the Wildcats stuck in fourth place, behind Melbourne, New Zealand and Adelaide with just two games left to play before finals.

Wildcats coach Trevor Gleeson questioned his side's desire from the start of the game.

"Disappointed we didn't come out with the desire we needed. I thought Cairns came out with more purpose than we did," he said.

"The defence was blase in the first quarter. And when a team is up and about it's hard to stop.

"We're 11 points down - six minutes to go and we're up the lanes, denying, getting deflections - being active. But we don't do it for long enough."

Cairns had led by nine during the opening quarter, but 10 points from Jean-Pierre Tokoto in the first 10 minutes restricted the visitors lead at the first break to a manageable five points. He was the game's highest scorer, with 23 points.

The Taipans ninth three-pointer came on the half-time buzzer - and it was Jarrad Weeks third - giving the Taipans a two-point lead at the main break.