Taipans bite Dragons 118-97 in NBL - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Taipans bite Dragons 118-97 in NBL

15/02/2007 10:19:42 PM Comments (0)

The Cairns Taipans have kept their NBL season alive with a 118-97 elimination final win over the South Dragons at the Cairns Convention Centre.

Two explosive quarters set the Taipans up for a quarter-final showdown with the Perth Wildcats on Saturday night, while Souths dreams of progressing any further in their inaugural season were brought to a close.

The visitors were able to put the screws on Cairns in patches, but were never decisive, holding the lead just once, in the opening 30 seconds of the game.

Battling inconsistency in the final few weeks of the regular season, it was a convincing display from the Taipans, particularly from co-captains Darnell Mee and Martin Cattalini.

Former Australian Boomer Cattalini was always going to be a marked man, but landed an under-pressure 20 points despite being double-teamed for much of the game.

Mees equal game-high 27 was made more impressive by a typically intense defensive display, while import Kevin Owens played easily his best game of the season with 19 points and solid work on the boards, which netted him a double-double.

Dragons imports Rosell Ellis (27) and Kavossy Franklin (24) led the way on the scoreboard for the visitors, Franklin fouling out in the final quarter, while captain-coach Shane Heal landed 22.

The Taipans blazed away in the opening quarter, Mee leading the way with 17 points in a classy display that included three three-pointers.

It was from long range where Cairns were finding most of their options as they were often left unmarked out wide and by the first break they led 38-23.

The Dragons forced three straight turnovers early in the second quarter to reduce the margin to 11 before Cairns called a time-out to regain their footing.

It worked briefly, but the Dragons returned to apply the pressure, closing out the quarter with a 16-7 run to be down just 62-58 at half-time, import Rosell Ellis with 20 to his name.

The Taipans opened the third term with a 14-2 run of their own, pushing the margin out to 16 and holding the visitors at arms length to lead 93-78 going into the straight.

Cairns then closed the game out with a 21-9 run to seal the deal and their trip to the west.

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