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Illawarra Hawks vs Perth Wildcats: NBL grand final Game 2 live scores, blog

1st March, 2017

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Illawarra Hawks vs Perth Wildcats

2016/17 NBL grand final Game 2, 1 March 2017

WIN Entertainment Centre, Wollongong, NSW
Illawarra Hawks Perth Wildcats
77 SCORE 89
24 Q1 18
21 Q2 22
14 Q3 23
18 Q4 26
Tip-off: 7:30pm (AEDT)
Venue: WIN Entertainment Centre, Wollongong
TV: Live, Fox Sports 503
Online: Live, NBL.TV
Betting: Hawks $1.75, Wildcats $2.10
Season series: Wildcats 2 - Hawks 2
Game 1: Wildcats 89 defeat Hawks 77 at Perth Arena

Illawarra Hawks (expected)
Point guard: Mitch Norton
Shooting guard: Marvelle Harris
Small forward: Kevin White
Power forward: Nick Kay
Centre: AJ Ogilvy
Bench: Rotnei Clarke, Tim Coenraad, Cody Ellis, Oscar Forman, Michael Hollyfield, Rhys Martin (c)


Perth Wildcats (expected)
Point guard: Damian Martin
Shooting guard: Bryce Cotton
Small forward: Casey Prather
Power forward: Matty Knight
Centre: Jameel McKay
Bench: Greg Hire, Jarrod Kenny, Shawn Redhage, Jesse Wagstaff, Dexter Kernrich-Drew, Angus Brandt, Corban Wroe
The Illawarra Hawks have struggled to click in the new NBL season. (AAP Image/Tony McDonough)
Editor
1st March, 2017
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Match result:

A dominant second half from the Perth Wildcats has given them an important road win in the NBL grand final series to move ahead 2-0 against the Illawarra Hawks, giving them a chance to wrap it up in straight sets at home on Sunday.

» Click here to read the full match report

Final score
Illawarra Hawks 77
Perth Wildcats 89

Match preview:

It might as well be a must-win game for the Illawarra Hawks when they host the all-conquering Perth Wildcats in Game 2 of the NBL grand final series. Join The Roar for live scores and coverage of the match from 7:30pm (AEDT).

After the closest season in history, where the Wildcats went down to the last seconds of the season to qualify for their 31st finals series in a row, they were the first team through to the grand finals with a thumping straight sets win over the Cairns Taipans in the semis.

The Hawks had to do things the hard way though, losing the first game against minor premiers the Adelaide 36ers before bouncing back to win both Game 2 and 3.

A third versus fourth grand final series just about sums up the season perfectly, and the Wildcats were dominant in the first game to hole home court advantage.

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While the series against the Taipans saw the Wildcats return to form, their drubbing of the Hawks in Game 1 was probably their best basketball for a couple of months.

They locked it down on defence, built a lead early in the game and never looked back before running away down the stretch. After struggling through the back end of the season, Casey Prather and Matty Knight are back to their best, with Bryce Cotton still firing away from behind the arc.

The Hawks were powerless to stop them in Game 1, but more worryingly was that Rotnei Clarke looked out of sorts both shooting and trying to run the offence. Simply put, if he doesn’t fire the Wildcats juggernaut rolls over them.

Illawarra do need more than just Clarke though – Mitch Norton has been pivotal to the club becoming the second best offence in the league this year, while AJ Ogilvy is key in the paint, but has had an up and down season.

Rob Beveridge also has his work cut out at the defensive end, with the zone defence they used in Game 1 doing little to slow down the Prather and Cotton duo. If they can’t adjust, this game will be over before it begins.

Prediction
Despite the obvious problems the Hawks have in this series, at home, not on the toughest road trip in the league, they should do what they have done earlier in the season and pick up the win against Perth to ensure the series will at least go to four games.

Hawks by 3.

Be sure to join The Roar for live coverage of Game 2 in the NBL grand final series from 7:30pm (AEDT) and don’t forget to drop a comment below.

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