The Sixers were in no mood to muck around, putting together a dominant 31-point win on their home court. Catch up with all the round 11 NBL action.
The Adelaide 36ers have put on a clinic at home, with a massive win over Brisbane.
Earlier, the JackJumpers had won three in a row but that came to an end with the Taipans came to town.
Catch up with all the Round 11 NBL action here.
– Jason Phelan
Adelaide has gleefully exorcised its home court demons, with stunning displays by Robert Franks and Antonius Cleveland firing the 36ers to a 31-point demolition of the Brisbane Bullets.
The Sixers have been maddeningly inconsistent at the Adelaide Entertainment Centre where they had a 2-4 record in the first half of the season, but it was showtime on Saturday night in a highlight heavy 108-77 triumph against the hapless Bullets.
It was Adelaide’s highest score and biggest win of the season, Franks finishing with a game-high 25 points and Cleveland draining 20 points and pulling down nine rebounds.
CJ Bruton has highlighted the need for his side to banish the poor starts that were a big part of their struggles at home and his team delivered with an energetic 28-12 opening term that set the tone for the impressive display.
The result snapped a three-game losing skid by Bruton’s side and improved its win-loss record to 7-8, while dropping Brisbane’s to 4-11.
Cleveland threw down a stunning one-handed dunk with such venom that he cut his right hand on the rim early in the second quarter.
The import led all players with 10 points at the time, but needed running repairs during a timeout and played out the match with the hand bandaged.
The break in play sparked a rare bright patch by the Bullets, who went on a 13-5 run to slash the margin to seven points.
Cleveland soon regained his rhythm with another monster jam and high-fives for courtside fans, Franks with seven points in the second quarter as the home side dashed away to a 54-35 lead at the main break.
The Sixers suffered a blow hours before the tip-off when important big man Daniel Johnson was ruled out with gastro.
The home side adjusted well to the star veteran’s absence in the paint, winning the rebound count 47-36.
Kai Sotto slotted into the starting five and the centre responded with 13 points and eight rebounds.
Not much has gone right for the Bullets in a season punctuated by injuries to key players, with Greg Vanderjagt the third coach in 15 games following James Duncan’s firing and Sam Mackinnon’s move back to the front office.
And this was another sorry chapter in their tale of woe.
Brisbane ruled out import Tyler Johnson two hours before the game after he failed to shake off a knee injury, with the American joining Tyrell Harrison and Tanner Krebs on the sidelines.
Brisbane was 14-of-41 from the floor in the half, shot 1-of-10 from three-point range and tempers flared with heated words exchanged between teammates.
Jason Cadee toiled hard for his team-high 18 points, while star centre Aron Baynes had six points and 11 rebounds.
The Sixers are back in action on Monday night when they host Tasmania at the Entertainment Centre, while the Bullets return home to the Nissan Arena where they will take on New Zealand on Wednesday night.
– Jarrod Lawler
The JackJumpers three-game winning streak is over after the Cairns Taipans once again proved too much with a gutsy 91-82 comeback win in Hobart on Saturday night.
After smashing the JJs by 22 points at MyState Bank Arena in the opening round of the season, the Taipans backed it up on Saturday with another impressive win in which they overcame an early 11-point deficit before hitting crucial shots down the stretch for a nine-point win.
After Tasmania led for almost the entire first half to take a 52-45 advantage into the main break, it was a 26-20 third term from the visitors that cut the margin to just one point at the final change before the Jackies stalled as the Taipans slithered away to their 10th win of the season.
With just 30 points scored between the teams in a gritty final term, it was the visitors who hit shots when it mattered most as they held Tasmania to just 10 final-quarter points as they silenced the sold out crowd at MyState Bank Arena.
Entering the contest, JJs coach Scott Roth said Cairns athletic frontcourt was going to present a big challenge and it did just that as Taipans big man Keanu Pinder put in another monster performance to continue his claims as league MVP.
Pinder got the better of his matchup with defensive star Will Magnay and almost single handedly kept his side in the contest for the first half before a number of teammates stepped up after the main break.
Pinder scored 23 of the Taipans’ 45 first-half points on his way to a game high 34, to go with seven rebounds on 11-17 shooting from the field and a perfect 10-10 from the line.
Pinder was well aided by skipper Tahjere McCall who put in a stellar all-around game with 23 points, six rebounds and five assists.
For the JackJumpers, Jack McVeigh led the way with 17 points while Milton Doyle poured in 15 points but was held to just 6-17 from the field.
Josh Magette (13 points, four assists) also had some big moments in the game, particularly early, while Magnay continued to find his feet since returning with 12 points and three blocks in a mouth-watering matchup with Pinder.
The loss takes the JackJumpers to 8-7 on the season while the Taipans moved to 10-5.
The Jackies won’t have long to lick their wounds from Saturday’s loss as they look to get back on the winners list on Monday against the 36ers in Adelaide.
– Ronny Lerner
A spectacular first half from star import Rayjon Tucker has inspired Melbourne United to an upset 92-76 victory over cross-town rivals South East Melbourne in the fourth and final ‘Throwdown’ of the season on Thursday night.
After Alan Williams scored the Phoenix’s first six points to help catapult them to an early 8-2 lead, Tucker set John Cain Arena alight.
The American recorded 25 first-half points, the biggest tally of any NBL player this season, including a perfect 3-3 from three-point land, to turn the tide dramatically and put United up 42-25 midway through the second quarter.
Tucker finished with an NBL career-high, and a ‘Throwdown’ record, 33 points on 11-15 shooting (4-5 from three) as well as 7-8 from the free-throw line.
The 25-year-old was unstoppable as he attacked the rim with athleticism and gay abandon, but was also deadly from long range.
After slipping 17 points behind in the first half, South East drained the next nine points, including six from Mitch Creek, to get back within eight points late in the second term.
However, United reasserted themselves in the third quarter, with another Tucker triple extending their lead back out to 16 points (66-50).
The Phoenix wouldn’t lay down as Creek, Gary Browne and Williams pulled them back within eight points again with 4:26 remaining, but United would not repeat their second-half capitulation against Perth on Monday and held on for an impressive win.
South East missed a golden opportunity to re-enter the top three as United snapped their three-game winning streak to split their season series 2-2.
But at 7-11, Dean Vickerman’s men still have a lot of work to do if they want to feature in the play-in tournament.
For most of the game, the Phoenix‘s offence struggled badly under the heat of Melbourne’s desperate hustle, pressure and manic defence, and they finished with a horrible 34 per cent from the field (27-78), compared to United’s superb 52 per cent (36-69).
United were also fantastic from downtown, nailing 11-24 (45 per cent) as South East put up a paltry 4-20 (20). United captain Chris Goulding also chipped in with 16 points, including four threes.
Creek was the pick of the South East contributors with 22 points, 10 rebounds, two steals and a block, while Williams registered another double-double with 15 points and 12 rebounds.
Tucker fittingly put an exclamation mark on the first half, putting down the final bucket of the second term with a spectacular alley-oop dunk over Creek that was set-up by Xavier Rathan-Mayes. Tucker was so excited, that he celebrated with a fist pump while he was still clinging to the rim.
GOULDING FROM VERY DEEP
Goulding has developed a reputation as one of the deadliest assassins from beyond the perimeter in NBL history, and he showed why early in the second quarter when he hit an audacious 35-footer from near the logo to put united up 33-17.
BROEKHOFF OFF THE BOIL
Phoenix star Ryan Broekhoff had an uncharacteristically off night, finishing with just three points and four field-goal attempts from 28 minutes.
– Matthew McInerney
Keanu Pinder strengthened his MVP case but the night belonged to Bul Kuol as Cairns claimed a sixth straight win in the NBL’s Sunshine Stoush with an 85-76 win against the Bullets.
While the Taipans struggled to hit the target in the opening minutes of the first term and trailed by as much as eight, they soon played their way back into the lead – and never looked back.
Pinder, who seems to thrive in tough match-ups against touch centres, did so again as he came up against Boomers star Aron Baynes, on his way to an eighth double-double of the season.
The Nyigina man produced another typically strong performance in the Taipans’ Indigenous Round clash, stuffing the stat sheet with 12 points, 15 rebounds, two steals and a block.
While he worked in the paint, Bul Kuol’s affinity for big nights against the Bullets continued as he hit a game-high 23 points, which included four threes.
Kuol was immense, and landed big shots despite walking the tightrope with three fouls by the main break.
“We came out a bit low but I think we picked up the energy and created a run for us,” he said at halftime.
“My teammates are doing a good job finding me in transition.”
Tahjere McCall had another big night with 13 points, eight rebounds and seven assists, while DJ Hogg had 15 points.
The Bullets have endured a tough period, with Greg Vanderjagt taking on the interim coaching reins from Sam Mackinnon to become the club’s third coach in a month.
While the Bullets welcomed new import Andrew White II, who only stepped off the plane 48 hours ago and finished with nine points. They were also without Tyler Johnson, who was a late omission due to a knee injury.
Mareeba product Baynes, in his first game in Cairns since before he left for the NBA, started strongly, scoring eight-straight points as Brisbane built an early lead. He finished with 17 points, five rebounds and two assists.
Nathan Sobey finished with 13 points, while Gorjok Gak had 10.
There was considerable concern for Cairns big Sam Waardenburg after he went down early in the third quarter.
As he drove to the bucket for a lay-up, Brisbane’s DJ Mitchell flew across to put on some pressure, but as he jumped his hip collected Waardenburg flush on his face.
He hit the deck hard and play was stopped for several minutes as he received treatment, but managed to walk from the floor under his own power.
He did not return due to concussion, and will be monitored ahead of the Taipans’ clash with the JackJumpers on Saturday.
There’s just something about the Bullets that brings the best out of Bul Kuol.
He was hitting at 70 per cent from the field against the Bullets heading into the contest, a run which includes the eight long-range bombs he dropped at Brisbane in his rookie season.
As Cairns struggled to hit the mark to start, Kuol didn’t miss, dropping three from range to keep the scoreboard ticking over.
SOBEY’S TOUGH NIGHT
It’s not often Nathan Sobey has a night like this, but even when the target isn’t quite locked the Boomers guard is a threat.
Sobey has taken on plenty to help lead the under-fire Bullets through this tough period, but he just couldn’t find his shot on Wednesday night.
He missed his first six field goals, finally scoring a point in the second term, had six misses from beyond the arc before finally landing a blow from range, but still managed to finish with 13 points.
Both teams will be in action again on Saturday, with the Taipans travelling to Tasmania to meet the JackJumpers and the Bullets off to Adelaide for a date with the 36ers.
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The Perth Wildcats pulled off a six-point swing in the final 10 seconds to stun Melbourne United, while the Tasmania JackJumpers upset the Kings. Catch up with all the NBL round 10 action.