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Taipans end drought with Brisbane blitz

The Cairns Taipans ended a 14-game losing streak with a 29-point win against the Brisbane Bullets.

Taipans end drought with Brisbane blitz

The Cairns Taipans ended a 14-game losing streak with a 29-point win against the Brisbane Bullets.

NATE JAWAI of the Taipans passes during the NBL match between the Cairns Taipans and Melbourne United at Cairns Convention Centre in Cairns, Australia.
NATE JAWAI of the Taipans passes during the NBL match between the Cairns Taipans and Melbourne United at Cairns Convention Centre in Cairns, Australia. Picture:Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images

The Cairns Taipans ended their 14-game NBL losing streak with a blitz against the Brisbane Bullets on Thursday night, hammering their Queensland rivals 109-80.

Both teams were on the quick back-up after playing on New Year's Eve, but the desperate Taipans found an extra gear at home to win their second match of the season.


Cairns remain undefeated against Brisbane this season, having trounced the Bullets 88-70 in round one.

Inspirational big man Nate Jawai was the difference for the Taipans, scoring 18 points and dominating the paint against a Brisbane side missing Boomers star Cameron Bairstow.

In Bairstow's absence, the Bullets used Matt Hodgson and Will Magnay to try to quell his influence, but they simply were no match for the Australian representative.

Signs were strong in the opening term when Cairns went on a 10-point scoring run to lead by seven.

Jarrod Kenny fired eight points off the bench early and also had the ominous task of guarding American import Lamar Patterson.

Kenny finished with 15 points and even though Patterson had 27 of his own, it was the New Zealand representative who took overall honours.

But all of Cairns' players played the role in the drought-breaking win.

Imports Devon Hall (24), Melo Trimble (13) and DJ Newbill (13) found their range when it mattered and looked to inspire their teammates and the vocal crowd at the Cairns Convention Centre.

Hall, in his first year of professional basketball, had career-best numbers and shot six of eight from three-point range.

The American had struggled to find his shooting rhythm throughout the season.

"We got a win. It feels good, it's been awhile," Hall said

"It's been a learning curve for every single person. It's (Mike Kelly's) first year being a head coach so he is motivated just like we are."

By halftime, the margin was nine points and there was a sense an upset might be brewing, but Taipans fans have been accustomed to disappointment, having not won a game at home since January 20 last year.

But any fears of a Bullets comeback were put to rest when the Snakes came out firing after the break, outscoring Brisbane 37-17 in the third term to sew up the victory.

AAP


AAP




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