Perth have moved three games clear at the top of the NBL ladder after closest challenger Adelaide lost both road games in the latest round.
Perth have skipped three games clear at the top of the NBL after disastrous road trips for closest challenger Adelaide and defending champions the New Zealand Breakers.
Second-placed Adelaide (8-4) lost both legs of their North Queensland visit after winning their past six games.
The pacesetting Wildcats (11-1) just held off the fast-finishing Breakers (4-8) to win 95-91 in Perth on Friday.
James Ennis hit a long-range three-pointer to seal the win for Perth, finishing with 31 points, while fellow import Jermaine Beal contributed 30.
The Breakers dropped to sixth on Sunday after another close defeat, losing 84-82 to Melbourne (5-6), who snapped their three-match losing streak.
“It’s been a rough couple of weeks for us, I think this was a good reward for hard work,” Melbourne forward Mark Worthington told the Ten Network.
Worthington top-scored for his side with 21, while recently acquired import Mustapha Farrakhan had his most impressive game in a Tigers uniform.
He scored 20 points on nine out of ten field goals, notched six assists, two steals and blocked the potential match-winning three-point last-second shot of CJ Bruton, who was playing his 500th NBL game.
“It was certainly his best game as an international player and it’s taken him a little bit of time to adjust to the international game, but that game will do him the world of good,” Melbourne coach Chris Anstey told the Ten Network.
One bright spot for the Breakers was the form of recently reacquired import Gary Wilkinson, who top-scored for them in both games.
The other three matches in the round produced upsets.
Townsville (4-5) shaded the 36ers 98-94 on Friday, with Crocs guard Steven Markovic nailing eight three-pointers in his 31-point effort.
The Sunshine Swing brought more gloom for the 36ers the following night.
Taipans guard Jamar Wilson returned to form with a NBL career-best 30-point haul, as Cairns (3-7) ended their seven-match losing run in style by thumping Adelaide 98-78.
“We didn’t play either side well,” Adelaide coach Joey Wright said.
“We are not playing good basketball.”
Sydney (5-5) was also on the end of a shock loss, going down 73-69 to Wollongong (3-7).
Hawks guard Rotnei Clarke produced another big game, scoring 27, while Sydney’s former NBA player Sam Young top-scored for the Kings with 16.