Gaze shows All Star quality - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Gaze shows All Star quality

By Laine Clark 26/12/2004 10:03:07 PM Comments (0)

Proving there's still plenty of life left in the old legs, veteran guard Andrew Gaze provided the perfect reply to his surprise NBL All Star snubbing by leading the Melbourne Tigers to a 101-98 win over West Sydney Razorbacks.

The former Australian skipper may be 39 and in his 22nd NBL season but the five-time Olympian is still a force (third in 2004-05 scoring with 21) and was considered a shoo-in for his 10th All Star game.

However, when an Australian team was announced last week to tackle a World (imports) outfit in the January 19 All Star showcase in Townsville, the seven-time NBL MVP's name was nowhere to be seen.

Gaze appeared keen to remind punters he was far from finished, hitting a game high 28 points in a Boxing Day clash that had everything including a shot clock disruption with just 30 seconds left and the game in the balance.

In an aptly titled Boxing Day clash, both sides absorbed plenty of body shots before Gaze landed the knockout punch alongside Mark Bradtke (18pts, 10 rebounds) and Lanard Copeland (15pts).

For West Sydney, big man Simon Dwight celebrated his first game since missing the last round clash at Perth with a knee injury by grabbing 13 points and 13 rebounds while captain Sam Mackinnon hit a team high 24 points.

West Sydney (8-11 record) led at the final break 76-74 and 87-81 in the final quarter before the Tigers (9-9) roared home to their third straight win.

Despite shooting a lousy 35 per cent from the field and letting main rival Gaze grab 11 points, West Sydney somehow led 25-24 at the opening break.

The Pigs imploded in the second quarter when they were out rebounded 18-11 and went 0-5 in three-point shooting as Gaze (18 points by halftime) led the Tigers to a 47-42 buffer by the main break.

The Tigers threatened to skip away in the third quarter, only for the Pigs to again regain the lead at 72-70 with a Mackinnon three with 1min:11sec left on the clock before import forward Nick Horvath scored on the buzzer to give the Pigs a 76-74 advantage.

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