Bullets beat 36ers in gripping NBL battle

Fraser Barton |

The Brisbane Bullets have held on for a 92-91 win against Adelaide after a gripping contest went down to the final possession of their Sunday NBL contest.

Exchanging the lead back and forth throughout the final term, the Bullets with their one point margin couldn’t get a decent look in the final 30 seconds as Lamar Patterson hoisted a tough field goal.

Adelaide then went down the floor and with 6.7 seconds remaining, Hyrum Harris drove right through traffic but his hook shot missed the iron as Brisbane held on for their ninth win of the season.

With both teams out of finals contention, they put on a show at Nissan Arena,  registering 101 points in the opening half with the scoreline at 51-50.

Jason Cadee came out firing for the hosts hitting five of five from deep in the first five minutes as his team landed 60 per cent of their shots before the main break.

Adelaide went on a 20-4 run either side of the half to give them a nine-point buffer but Brisbane rallied as Patterson and Robert Franks found their way into the contest.

A stellar cameo by Taane Samuel on the defensive end contained 36er Daniel Johnson (28 points) as both teams went blow for blow down the stretch.

But it was Cadee’s day as his late triple kept the hosts in front by the skin of their teeth, before the final points were determined at the stripe.

Cadee’s heroics were all the more sweeter as he carried his side without star Nathan Sobey, who was ruled out for the remainder of the season due to a knee injury.

Coach James Duncan said his side’s character was on full display and that was their messaging heading into the contest.

“Stand up and show some character, play for each other, play for our fans,  play for our members – that was a big message going into the game,” Duncan said.

“Credit to the boys for not giving up and showing the character to come back and get ourselves over the hump.”

Next-Star Tom Digbeu was again in the thick of Brisbane’s success, riding the momentum of consistent minutes in their last three games.

The small forward had 13 points and four boards in his 25 minutes of action on an efficient 5-8 shooting.

“Tom’s a very talented young man, and he’s continuing to learn to be a pro,” Duncan added.

“In order for him to take the next step is to continue to dive into a scout, into the weight room, into practice and taking those steps so that he’s able to perform like he was able to perform the last two games.”