Adelaide 36ers beat Perth Wildcats 89-84 in NBL Grand Final game two
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Last Updated: April 12, 2014 Weather: Sydney 18°C - 23°C . Showers. Very windy.
Adelaide 36ers beat Perth Wildcats 89-84 in NBL Grand Final game two by: Boti Nagy From: The Advertiser April 12, 2014 12:31PM Increase Text SizeDecrease Text SizePrintEmail Share Add to DiggAdd to del.icio.
Adelaide 36ers force NBL grand final decider 0:29 Play video Adelaide 36ers have forced the NBL grand final into a deciding third match after claiming an 89-84 win over the Perth Wildcats on Friday night.
Adelaide 36ers star Adam Gibson blocked by Damian Martin of the Perth Wildcats during game two of the NBL Grand Final series on Friday night. Picture: Getty Images Source: Getty Images UPDATE: ADELAIDE kept alive its dream of joining Perth as a five-time NBL champion after Adam Gibson and Gary Ervin steered it to a sensational 89-84 Game Two win at Adelaide Arena. With the sold-out crowd at its loudest since the 1994 grand final against North Melbourne, the 36ers fought back from 80-81 down with 1:41 left to send the best-of-three series into a deciding third game in Perth on Sunday.
Adelaide players celebrate the win. Picture: Sarah Reed Source: News Corp Australia Sixers import Gary Ervin, who went missing in the 85-92 Game One loss in Perth on Monday, had ice water in his veins down the stretch, sticking 6-of-6 free throws in the final 42 seconds.
Daniel Johnson’s jumpshot gave Adelaide back the lead it held for most of the contest for 82-81, after which Ervin forced a turnover off the leg of Wildcats guard Jermaine Beal.
Adelaide’s Adam Gibson grabs a rebound in the dying seconds.
Johnson missed his next shot and Game One star James Ennis grabbed the rebound, the situation again looking dangerous, but Rhys Carter plucked the ball from him for a further possession.
Ervin then made the first of his free throws for 84-81, Wildcats coach Trevor Gleeson taking time-out.
On the play, Ennis missed in close, the ball spilt out of court, Adelaide ball and Ervin again fouled on the Sixers’ possession.
Jesse Wagstaff of the Wildcats goes for the basket during game two of the NBL Grand Final series.
His two freebies made it 86-81 and seemingly out of reach until Jesse Wagstaff conjured a quick three for 84-86.
Ervin again pushed the lead back to four at 88-84 and the game was over.
The diminutive US playmaker finished with a game-high 23 points but captain Gibson was the hero with a sizzling third period where he scored 12 of his 18.
Gibson went close to a triple-double with 18 points, a match-high seven assists and nine rebounds in the performance of a gutsy warrior.
Adelaide’s Mitch Creek (right with Brendan Teys) can hardly bear to watch the final few minutes.
Johnson opened with nine points in the first four minutes, the officiating much tighter than the controversial series opener.
Brendan Teys also produced big plays at key moments as Perth was under siege from tip-off, Johnson leading a 7-0 start.
The margin blew out to 13 in the second quarter as Beal had trouble finding space or rhythm and the 36ers attacked the boards with a venom absent in the previous outing.
A young fan shows his support for the Adelaide 36ers. Picture: Getty Images Source: Getty Images Ennis, who had no fouls in Game One, fouled out, as did Shawn Redhage. Matt Knight put the team on his back and Beal also almost proved a match-winner with 17 of his 19 points after the interval.
Adelaide was ahead 51-41 at the main break, maintained its edge, then weathered a terrific fightback from the regular season champs in one of the best grand final games in the league’s history.
NBL Grand Final, Game Two: ADELAIDE 36ERS 89 (Ervin 23, Gibson, Johnson 18) d PERTH WILDCATS 84 (Beal 19, Ennis, Knight 14, Wagstaff 12, Martin 11) at Adelaide Arena. Attendance: 8127.
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