Tigers maul Giants - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Tigers maul Giants

12/01/2003 05:28:57 AM Comments (0)

The Melbourne Tigers kept its NBL finals chances alive after thrashing the Victoria Giants by 29 points at the State Netball and Hockey Centre.

Tigers captain Andrew Gaze thrilled the sell out crowd of 3,500, finishing with 24 points including 19 in the first half.

Ex-Boomers centre Mark Bradtke and Marcus Timmons' game high 27 points led the Tigers to a 115-86 win, reversing the result of their last derby clash when the Giants won by 28 points.

Melbourne moved to the cusp of the top six with a 9-11 record while the Giants remained rooted to the bottom of the NBL ladder at 5-15.

It was the 10th loss in 11 games for Victoria who suffered from poor shooting from the outset - Giants import Adonis Jordan was the biggest offender in the opening term by earning just three points.

Victoria, still without injured starters Darren Smith and import Jamahl Mosley, trailed by 10 at the first break but the match was all over when Melbourne held a 60-35 halftime lead.

Organisers delayed the tip-off by 20 minutes with expectations of a big crowd and traffic congestion prompting fears fans would be late for the start of the local derby held at "The Cage".

When the match finally started, the venue lived up to its name with the vocal crowd giving Giants centre Pero Vasiljevic a wild welcome during his sometimes testy battle with Bradtke.

Vasiljevic finished with 24 points and eight rebounds while an inaccurate Jordan finished with 25 points and teammate Nathan Crosswell 21.

For Melbourne, Stephen Hoare had 16 points as did fellow big name Neil Mottram.

"I thought the first quarter defensive effort set the foundation for our game," said Tigers coach Lindsay Gaze.

He said the Tigers were still hopeful of making the finals but would have to lift to be a contender.

"My objective right from the start of the season was (to win) 50 per cent.

"You get 50 per cent no matter how, what, who - then you've got a fair chance of making the playoffs."

Andrew Gaze said the crowd support set the tone for his team's performance.

"Coming to an environment like this where it's full - the local derby, a lot on the line, it was one of those games that it was very exciting to be a part of."

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