Basketball: Nuggets put up valiant effort but lapses prove costly

Alf Arlidge
Alf Arlidge
Heartening? Perhaps. But another loss all the same and Otago Nuggets coach Alf Arlidge was pretty annoyed about it.

The newly formed Auckland Pirates repelled a brave challenge from the Nuggets to win 86-73. While the 13-point buffer sounds comfortable, the Nuggets made the home side work hard for the win.

The visitors led 39-36 at halftime and were in the hunt until midway through the final quarter.

"That last quarter just got away from us," Arlidge said"Auckland actually played really, really well in that last quarter.

"But I'm very disappointed. We had lapses in concentration and we got out-hustled at certain areas of the game and in other areas we were great."

American import Lance Allred impressed in his debut for the Nuggets with 20 points and 16 rebounds, and Tall Black Craig Bradshaw scored 16 points and grabbed 15 boards. Point guard Scott O'Gallagher had a strong second half and finished the match with 19 points.

But Auckland's import Kevin Mickens stole the show with 22 points.

Arlidge was pleased with the way his side defended but said the offence lacked cohesion and there was plenty to work on ahead of the first home game against the Southland Sharks at the Edgar Centre this Saturday.

"We missed a lot of two-footers inside and it was little things like that which got away from us. Obviously, we are a lot stronger at the defensive end. We just have to work on the other end. We got a bit stagnant on offence a couple of times. We got lots of good shots but we just couldn't knock them down."

The loss means the Nuggets have extended their losing streak to 28 games. The franchise's last win in the NBL was in April 2008.


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