The Perth Redbacks remain one of the hottest teams in the NBL1 West Men’s Division after impressive wins against the Joondalup Wolves and Willetton Tigers in Round 13.
Prior to the week off thanks to COVID-19, the Redbacks had been in terrific form in the Men’s Division having won five of six games throughout June which had them knocking on the door for a top-four spot after starting the season losing four of the first six matches of 2021.
The Redbacks Men picked right up where they left off on the weekend as part of the NAIDOC Round with a 98-81 win against the Joondalup Wolves on Friday night at HBF Arena and backing it up at Belmont Oasis on Saturday defeating the Willetton Tigers 84-62.
It improves the Redbacks to a 9-5 record on the season in fourth position ahead of this Saturday night’s crucial and fascinating clash with the Lakeside Lightning.
It was a scintillating start by Perth away from home as well on Friday night as they piled on 36 points in the first quarter to take a 20-point advantage into quarter-time against the Wolves.
It was more of the same from the Redbacks in the second term as the visitors put on another 25 points and held the Wolves to just 15 to go into the half-time break well in control, leading 61-31.
The Wolfpack attempted to mount a fightback in the third quarter and did outscore the Redbacks 29 points to 13, but Perth was able to stem the tide and finish strongly to end up winning 98-81.
It was a strong offensive showing from the Redbacks and they went 53.3 per cent from the field as a team while also dishing out 24 assists on just the 14 turnovers and also winning the rebound count.
Marshall Nelson is warming into the season nicely now for the Redbacks and he led the way on the night with 28 points, seven assists, five rebounds and three steals while hitting 9/17 from the field and 4/9 from three-point territory.
Louis Timms continued his terrific form too against his original club by putting up another 25 points and 10 rebounds on a supremely efficient 12/16 shooting.
Tevin Jackson added 18 points, nine rebounds and six assists as well for the Redbacks with Zac Gattorna putting up 14 points, eight rebounds, four assists and two steals, and Joel Wagner five points and two assists.
Then on Saturday night, the Redbacks managed to lead 23-19 by quarter-time at Belmont Oasis against Willetton and hold on to that edge heading into half-time leading 37-33.
The game was still up for grabs, though, at the half but that soon changed in the third quarter with the Redbacks having too many scoring weapons led by Marshall Nelson, Zac Gattorna, Louis Timms and Tevin Jackson with Willetton dearly missing Damien Scott and Michael Vigor’s presence.
The Redbacks held the Tigers to just eight points in the third quarter while scoring 24 themselves. That proved to be the match-winning quarter too and Perth would go on to beat Willetton 84-62.
The Redbacks did well turning up the heat and forcing the Tigers into 22 turnovers while ending up shooting 44.6 per cent from the field opposed 36.8 for Willetton, and then 8/23 from three-point range compared to 3/17 from the Tigers.
Zac Gattorna was outstanding for the Redbacks with 25 points and nine rebounds on shooting 11/19 from the field and 2/3 from beyond the arc.
Marshall Nelson added 21 points, seven rebounds, three assists and two steals on the back of 9/14 shooting with 2/3 from deep.
Louis Timms put up another 18 points, 10 rebounds, four steals and three blocked shots with Tevin Jackson contributing eight points, four rebounds and three steals, and captain Joel Wagner dished out 12 assists.
Marshall Nelson was also named NBL1 West Men’s Player of the Week for his efforts over the weekend.