The NBL ladder-leading Sydney Kings are closing in on a guaranteed semi-final berth after a dominant 108-87 victory over Perth Wildcats to secure their fourth win on the trot.
The defending champions continued their recent red-hot form in front of a packed house at Qudos Bank Arena on Saturday night as they racked up their 15th win of the season.
Sydney outpointed Perth in almost every aspect of the game in the first half, leading by as many as 21 points with Xavier Cooks providing the impetus for a 59-41 advantage at the main break.
The Wildcats' offence came to life in the second and third quarters as they managed to close the margin to 11 points but Sydney had too many weapons for the visitors to contain with the championship frontrunners averaging a whopping 19.5-point winning margin during their current four-game unbeaten streak.
Cooks produced another stellar performance with 24 points, 11 rebounds and three blocks but told ESPN that the team's defensive focus on Perth danger man Bryce Cotton paved the way for the victory.
"That was a great team effort, we did a great job of applying the scouting report tonight. It takes a whole community to shut down Bryce Cotton and he got 22 (points), that's a good job on Bryce," Cooks said as the Kings inched closer to securing a top-two finish.
Recent signing Tai Webster slotted straight into Perth's starting lineup, replacing injured star Luke Travers, and opened the scoring for his new club with a triple but points became hard to come by as the Kings restricted the Wildcats to 6-of-19 shooting for the term.
After holding Perth to their lowest first-quarter score all season in a 27-14 start, the Kings kept rolling in the second period as they opened up with seven straight points to extend the lead to 20.
The Wildcats missed 11 of their first 12 three-point attempts before Corey Webster broke the drought midway through the second term then quickly added two more triples while Bryce Cotton started getting involved in the offence.
The Kings withstood Perth's late burst to take a 59-41 buffer into the main break but Wildcats import Brady Manek bounced back from a scoreless first half to pour in eight points inside the opening two minutes of the third quarter as the visitors threatened to mount a remarkable comeback.
But Jordan Hunter's freakish floater from behind the backboard and a pair of Cooks free throws helped the Kings establish an 82-67 lead heading into the fourth quarter and the league pacesetters put the Wildcats away in a dominant finish.