Giants crush Jets in big NZNBL win

A ONE-SIDED first half has seen the Nelson Giants set up a big 25-point win over the Manawatu Jets in the New Zealand National Basketball League (NZNBL) last night. The Giants moved to the top of the ladder in season 2022 and showed exactly why they are there, piling on 34 points to 15 in the opening quarter, then put the foot down in the second to lead by 26 at half-time. To the bottom two Jets’ credit, they kept fighting until the final buzzer, winning the third term before ultimately not being able to sustain it and going down, 71-96.

NELSON GIANTS 34 | 21 | 19 | 22 (96)
MANAWATU JETS 15 | 14 | 28 | 14 (71)

Title contenders Nelson Giants flexed their muscles against a Manawatu Jets side that was desperate to win to keep their Playoff hopes alive in season 2022. As it turned out, the Giants would be too good, romping to their 14th win of the NZNBL season, and moving a victory clear of second placed Auckland Tuatara with a game in hand. The Jets slumped to 5-9 and remained in ninth, only clear of the 3-10 Southland Sharks, with only a few weeks remaining in the competition.

It was a fairly comprehensive first half from the Giants, who poured on 34 points to 15 in the opening term to just about put the nail in the coffin from the opening 10 minutes. They did not let up however, managing another 21 points to extend the 19-point half-time lead by seven to be 55-29 up at the main break. With the Jets missing stars John Bohannon and Robert Crawford among four players out due to illness, and then Nathaniel Salmon unable to play despite being in attendance due to an administrative error, the writing was on the wall.

Despite that fact, the Jets kept digging their heels in and won the third term as the Giants managed their lineup. They won the quarter 28-19 to cut the final break deficit back to 17 points, and just had the faintest of sniffs. That would ultimately prove fruitless in the end though, as the likes of Trey Mourning, Jarrod West and Sam Dempster would combine to create headaches for the Jets.

Nelson Giants took control across the board, shooting at a higher clip (44 to 39 per cent), including from inside (50 to 45 per cent) and outside (37 to 33 per cent) the arc. They won the rebound count (48-41), as well as the assists (27-16), steals (18-4) and capitalised on poor turnovers from the Jets, with the visitors committing 26 turnovers to the Giants’ 11. That lead the Giants to pile on 36 points from turnovers, while the Jets only managed the one basket. Nelson had more points in the paint (44-26) and second chance points (23-2) in a dominant performance.

The Giants had plenty of contributors, with Dempster (14 points, seven rebounds, two assists and two steals) shooting four of eight from beyond the arc in 21 minutes on court. Samuel Thompson (14 points, three assists, three steals and two rebounds) shared the top points, while Mourning (10 points, seven rebounds, five assists and two blocks) and West (11 points, seven steals and five assists) were both outstanding.

Nic Trathen (16 points, three assists and two rebounds) shot four of 10 from three-point range in the match, while Jordan Schwalger had 10 points, seven rebounds and two steals also coming off the bench with Trathen. The Jets largely relied on Shane Temara who picked up a double-double of 11 points and 13 rebounds. Tukaha Cooper (13 points, six rebounds, five assists and three blocks) and Klein Salmon (12 points, three rebounds and two blocks) were the others to try hard on the losing side.

Both these sides play against each other again in the next match, with the Manawatu Jets hosting the Nelson Giants on Saturday.

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