Lamar Patterson guided the Bullets to a big win over the Perth Wildcats at the Nissan Arena in Brisbane. Picture: AAP Image/Glenn Hunt
Lamar Patterson guided the Bullets to a big win over the Perth Wildcats at the Nissan Arena in Brisbane. Picture: AAP Image/Glenn Hunt

Patterson propels Bullets to NBL win

The belief is there, but only time will tell whether the Brisbane Bullets' season of brinkmanship will be enough to carry the side to the NBL finals.

Lamar Patterson and Matt Hodgson delivered the class and the grunt to inspire the Bullets to a 97-85 win against the second-placed Perth Wildcats at Brisbane's Nissan Arena on Sunday.

Patterson's 35 points, seven rebounds and four assists was precisely what the eighth-placed Bullets needed.

 

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Brisbane star Lamar Patterson inspired the Bullets to victory over the Perth Wildcats at Nissan Arena. Picture: Jono Searle/Getty Images
Brisbane star Lamar Patterson inspired the Bullets to victory over the Perth Wildcats at Nissan Arena. Picture: Jono Searle/Getty Images

 

 

 

His haul, on the back of Hodgson's 17 points, gave the team hope it can revive its playoff chances over the remaining eight games.

Finishing in the top four remains a faint hope but the win puts Brisbane only two wins adrift of third-placed Melbourne United.

Recent wins against league leaders the Sydney Kings, the Wildcats and United indicated they can compete with the pace setters if they string some wins together to reach the post-season.

"The first half of the season we had a bit of trouble finding ourselves and our identity," Bullets coach Andrej Lemanis said.

"It feels like the last four or five weeks we've landed on it and we're playing good team basketball.

"That gives you a chance to win games." Brisbane was in the drivers' seat for most of the game and pulled away in the final term despite a classy 24 points from Perth guard and league MVP contender Bryce Cotton.

 

 

Brisbane centre Matt Hodgson drained 17 points for the Bullets. Picture: Jono Searle/Getty Images
Brisbane centre Matt Hodgson drained 17 points for the Bullets. Picture: Jono Searle/Getty Images

 

Patterson's demolition job on Wildcat Terrico White was as impressive as his scoring.

The Wildcats import did not score his first points until two minutes inside the second half and foul trouble limited him to 10 points.

With guard Damian Martin still weeks away from returning from a foot injury, Perth lacked mongrel.

"We didn't come out and set the tone at all. We were on the back foot," Wildcats coach Trevor Gleeson said.

"Our defence was horrendous, that's what we pride ourselves on "To let them get so many easy points in the paint (was disappointing)"

 

 

Perth Wildcats coach Trevor Gleeson attempts to spark his team at the Nissan Arena in Brisbane. Picture: AAP Image/Glenn Hunt
Perth Wildcats coach Trevor Gleeson attempts to spark his team at the Nissan Arena in Brisbane. Picture: AAP Image/Glenn Hunt

 

Hodgson's return to form was startling.

Foul trouble had ruined his impact in recent games but he was relieved to play a more composed role.

Discipline near the rim was the difference, as was nitpicking at training from assistant coach Sam Mackinnon.

"He's been bagging at me 100 per cent because I want to play," Hodgson said.

 

Full-time score: BRISBANE BULLETS 97 (L Patterson 35 M Hodgson 17 N Sobey 17) bt PERTH WILDCATS 85 (B Cotton 24 N Kay 18 D Hunt 12) at Nissan Arena.