Taipans beat Breakers in overtime win - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Taipans beat Breakers in overtime win

06/01/2007 11:37:30 PM Comments (0)

Cairns Taipans coach Alan Black celebrated his 250th career coaching win as his side clinched a thrilling 112-106 over-time victory over the New Zealand Breakers at the Cairns Convention Centre.

Scores were level at 94-94 when Taipans Aaron Grabau sank a three-pointer with two seconds of regular time to spare.

But taking the ball at halfway following a time-out, the Breakers returned fire with Aaron Olsen hitting a return three in the last second to send the game into over-time.

Cairns led throughout the extra five minutes, closing out the game mostly through free throws after being sent to the stripe six times in the period.

The entire game was foul-heavy, four players reaching their maximum count by full-time.

It was a disappointing end for a persistent Breakers who refused to lie down despite being behind by 17 points at one stage.

It continues a woeful road-record for the 11th-placed visitors who have now won just one of 11 away games and are battling to keep their season alive.

A strong first half helped Martin Cattalini to yet another game-high performance, notching 26, while Aaron Grabau (19) and Kevin Owens (14) were Cairns' other two top scorers.

Ben Pepper had the game-high with 28, while Oscar Forman added 20 for the Breakers.

New Zealand import Carlos Powell was kept to a quiet 20 by his standards, largely due to an intense match-up with Grabau which at times turned fiery.

New import Pierre Wooten made his NBL debut for the Breakers, after joining the club midweek to replace the injured Brian Wethers.

Wooten took the court for the first time with just under three minutes left in an evenly matched first quarter which saw Cairns leading 33-26 at the first break.

Seven straight points saw the Breakers narrow their deficit to three, but the Taipans picked up the pace as half-time approached to out-score New Zealand 14-2 and take a 58-43 half-time lead.

Powell sent a shiver through the Breakers bench when he landed awkwardly on his right ankle following a collision with Grabau under the New Zealand basket just after half-time.

He limped from the court, but returned minutes later and was moving freely.

Powell's return to the court marked the start of a strong comeback by the visitors, slicing Cairns' 17-point lead to three before the Taipans took a 74-66 advantage to the last break.

Powell received a technical foul following an altercation with Grabau early in the fourth quarter but New Zealand continued to press, levelling the scores for the first time since the first quarter at 90-90 with a minute to go.

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