The Nelson Giants have edged the Taranaki Mountainairs 93-90 on Friday night to remain undefeated.
It was anyone’s game down the stretch but the Giants were able to make some big plays to secure the victory, and assert themselves as the only undefeated team in the Sal’s NBL.
Tohi Smith-Milner had a massive night for Nelson, dropping 27 points and six rebounds on 11-of-16 shooting and 3-of-5 from three.
Kyle Adnam remained productive with 20 points, seven rebounds, 10 assists and four steals in 37 minutes for Nelson.
Damon Heuir and Jerry Evans Jr. combined to shoot just 14-of-33 from the field overall, but did hit five 3-pointers between them. Heuir finished with 18 points, while Evans Jr. had 15.
Javonte Douglas led the way for Taranaki with 20 points, nine rebounds, two assists, two steals and one block in 38 minutes, shooting 9-of-18 from the field and 2-of-3 from three.
Fellow American Roger Woods scored 17 points to go with seven rebounds, four assists and two steals, shooting an efficient 5-of-8 from the floor.
Alonzo Burton (12 points) and Houston O’Riley (13 points) were also somewhat productive for Taranaki, shooting 4-of-9 from distance collectively.
Both teams shot over 50 per cent from the field, but it was likely the Giants’ edge in the paint that helped bump them to a victory tonight. They scored 50 of their 93 points inside, compared to the Airs who managed 36.
The Giants are now 3-0 on the season and sit at the top of the Sal’s NBL ladder after the Hawks’ loss to the Saints. The Airs drop to 1-2 following another heartbreaking defeat.