The Perth Wildcats have continued their NBL resurgence with Bryce Cotton and Keanu Pinder dominating in a 94-76 rout of the New Zealand Breakers.
With Cotton (37 points, 6-of-13 three-point shooting) and Pinder (21 points, six rebounds) the dominant figures in Friday's game, the Wildcats backed up wins last week over Adelaide and Melbourne emphatically following a four-game losing slide.
They were in control from the outset at RAC Arena, racing to a 12-3 start. By the time import forward Kristian Doolittle (eight points, 11 rebounds, four assists) nailed his second three-pointer, it was 15-6 and the 'Cats were never headed after that.
The Breakers are 2-6 following the loss and coach Mody Maor didn't mince his words afterwards about his team's performance.
"It wasn't a good game from us, we didn't compete the right way. Nothing in basketball works when you don't play with the appropriate effort," Maor said.
"When your whole team doesn't play with the appropriate intensity from the jump, the responsibility sits solely on the shoulders of the head coach.
"So the only thing that this is attributed to is my leadership. We need to be better and the responsibility is on me."
The American three-time MVP Cotton did as he pleased, with the Breakers giving him far too much breathing space. The triple championship-winning guard made them pay by notching up his season's best tally.
The Wildcats (5-5) had their best opening quarter of the season to lead 34-17, with the margin growing to as much as 21 late in the third quarter, as Cotton scored 15 points in that period alone.
The Breakers did close to within 10 early in the fourth quarter but they would get no closer with Cotton, Pinder and 453-game captain Jesse Wagstaff (11 points) sealing the deal.
Wildcats coach John Rillie is pleased with the momentum his team is starting to build.
"We're playing with some good confidence with many contributors in different ways," he said.
"Everyone is having a positive influence when they get in the game so that's great to see and they did a great job tonight when New Zealand made a couple of little runs.
"We got back out there and made a run ourselves so it's a work in progress and it's nice to see it continue to build."
The Breakers have lost four of five games since returning from a trip to the United States for two games against NBA opponents.
Ex-NBA forward Anthony Lamb again top-scored with 25 points with six three-pointers while Parker Jackson-Cartwright added 20 points and four assists, and Mangok Mathiang 11 points and 14 rebounds.