Taipans down Giants in NBL - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Taipans down Giants in NBL

21/12/2002 06:23:52 AM Comments (0)

There was little sign of Christmas cheer as Anthony Stewart hit a game high 29 points to spark the Cairns Taipans' spiteful 115-91 national basketball league win over the Victoria Giants.

As emotions threatened to boil over in a game that had little festive spirit, Stewart, 32, hit 8-11 from three-point territory to seal Cairns' second straight win.

The match was supposed to unveil new Giants import Adonis Jordan but the injured guard is not expected on the court until next week.

As a result, Victoria (4-11 record) had no answer for Stewart who combined with imports Darnell Mee (14) and Jayson Wells (17) to move Cairns to the cusp of the top six with a 7-8 record.

Victoria - which has to back up in Townsville tomorrow - was led by Nathan Crosswell (20), Darren Smith (19) and Jamahl Mosley (17).

The game was as good as over by the final break, with Cairns holding a commanding 89-70 lead.

But the Taipans continued on their scoring spree with Brad Davidson (10), Kane Oakley (10) and Tony Rampton (14) picking up where Stewart left off to ensure victory.

Even the usually reliable Giants guard Darryl McDonald was off his game, involved in a number of ugly turnovers as the Taipans recovered from a 19-12 deficit in the first quarter to tie the scores 21-21 at the first break.

The only headache for Cairns was in the paint with former Boomer Ben Knight still out injured and Giants new recruit Petro Vasiljevic - who left the embattled Canberra side this week - took full advantage with two consecutive jams on the way to a nine point contribution for the first half.

Stewart's three-point assault continued in the third, adding another two to finish the quarter with 26 points, as Smith tried valiantly to inspire the Giants.

Giants chairman Peter Fiddes admitted the loss of Jordan - who had played a handful of games for Townsville as a replacement import earlier this season - was telling.

"It was hard to prepare without him as he would have been a main contributor however that was no excuse for the loss as our defence was very weak," he said.

"He was supposed to play tonight, but because of injury he will be back in a week hopefully."

Cairns coach Guy Molloy said shutting down McDonald - who finished with 10 points, seven rebounds but also six turnovers - was the key.

"He is always a headache and obviously part of the gameplan was to stop Darryl," he said.

"But Anthony was unbelievable tonight. He is finding form at the right time of the season for us to have a charge at the finals."

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