You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Taipans in tight win over NZ in NBL

NZN 6/01/2017 Josh Bristow

The Cairns Taipans have moved off the bottom of the NBL ladder after an ugly 65-63 win at home over the New Zealand Breakers.

Both teams scored just 11 points each in a dire opening quarter on Friday night that set the tone for the rest of the encounter.

The Taipans turned the ball over 13 times but the Breakers were even worse with 18.

Despite that, the visitors found themselves in the lead for most of the night, largely thanks to a huge advantage on the boards, where they led the home side by 12 at one point in the third quarter.

But an influential final stanza from Taipans rookie Mitch McCarron saved them, his 14 points, three assists, six rebounds and a steal proving the difference.

The Breakers saw hope after the Taipans missed five three throws in the final minute to give New Zealand forward Rob Loe a last-second game-winning attempt, but he couldn't get it to fall.

The result means the Breakers are last on the NBL ladder ahead of Sunday's match against league leaders Adelaide.

Coach Paul Henare was terse with his opinion on the officiating in the scrappy loss.

"I've gotta be careful with what I can say. I'm being thrown loaded questions here but I know I can't say some things that I'd like to," he said.

They'll be hoping import Paul Carter can suit up after the guard limped from the court following a knee clash with the Taipans' Stephen Weigh.

"He came off and the medic said he'd be okay but, two seconds later, he came back on, said he wasn't, so we'll have to evaluate that now," Henare said.

Kirk Penny was the best for the Breakers with 21 points, while Taipans centre Nate Jawai added 11 points to his team's winning total.

Cairns next play on Saturday week, on the road, against Melbourne United.

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon