Taipans account for Pigs in NBL - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Taipans account for Pigs in NBL

02/02/2007 11:03:22 PM Comments (0)

Cairns struggled to shake off a persistent West Sydney but eventually confirmed themselves a home NBL final with a 97-92 win at the Cairns Convention Centre.

A week on from their upset victory over cross-town rivals Sydney, the Razorbacks seemed intent on claiming another big scalp.

But it was not to be as the Taipans finally found some of the aggression they have lacked over recent weeks to score their first win at home for almost a month.

It was a timely victory for the Snakes, who last week conceded they are unlikely to finish any higher than sixth this season, but needed a win to hold out a fast-finishing South Dragons.

It was left to Cairns' usual suspects to guide the side to the win, Martin Cattalini (26 points) invaluable as always, while defensive star Darnell Mee was putting in the hard yards at both ends of the court to finish with 21.

His three-point shot and ensuing rebound in the dying minute ended any hope of a Razorback upset, while Aaron Grabau also added 18.

A calf strain kept guard James Harvey on the bench for the Pigs, taking some sting out of their attack, although centre Julian Khazzouh (17) and Liam Rush (21) shouldered most of the scoring responsibility.

Cairns have struggled all season to really push the advantage once they hit the front in games and the story was no different.

They reached leads of 11 and 10 in both the first and second quarters, but then took the foot off the peddle, allowing the Razorbacks right back into the game.

At quarter-time the visitors had reduced the margin to two, while at half-time just five points separated the two sides, Cairns ahead 56-51.

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