Perth Wildcats Send Defending Champs To Third Straight Loss

The Perth Wildcats added to their unbeaten start to the 2013-14 NBL season by surprising an old rival on Thursday evening.

The Wildcats claimed an impressive 96-89 win against the defending champion New Zealand Breakers in Auckland to kick off Round 3 of NBL action.

NBA import James Ennis was again unstoppable, scoring 29 points and grabbing six rebounds to go along with a couple of huge, crowd-silencing dunks.

Led by four triples from Jesse Wagstaff, the Wildcats converted 11 of 19 three-point attempts while another fresh face, Jermaine Beal, had his best game of a young Wildcats career with 19 points and five assists.

The Breakers took control early, establishing a 23-point late first quarter lead before the Wildcats evened out the score, eventually running out to a double-digit lead early in the third term behind threes from Wagstaff and Beal.

Agile big man Alex Pledger (16 points, nine rebounds) helped cut the fourth quarter deficit to five, but the Breakers failed to finish the job despite influential Perth Wildcats Shawn Redhage, Wagstaff and Tom Jervis fouling out.

Jerron Johnson led the Breakers with 17 points and five assists while Tom Abercrombie contributed 14. The reigning NBL champions have yet to win another game after claiming their season opener over Wollongong and sit at a lowly 1-3.

The Wildcats can look to make it five straight on Sunday afternoon against the Kings in Sydney.

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Photo: Getty Images