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It was the Nikau show as the Otago Nuggets made it three straight with a crushing 83-66 win over the Franklin Bulls in Pukekohe last night.
The Nuggets are now, in many observers’ minds, one of the loaded teams in the National Basketball League as any of their big four — Sam Timmins and the three American imports — can catch fire on any given night.
But perhaps we need to be talking about a fab five.
Point guard Nikau McCullough had a career night, exploding out of the gates with 17 points in the first quarter and 24 in the first half. He ran the Bulls ragged, dropping in a teardrop here and a step-back jumper there, along with four three-pointers, the pick of which was an almost nonchalant bomb at the end of the first quarter.
McCullough could not possibly sustain that frenetic pace, but his final haul of 29 points, on 12-of-19 shooting, represented a coming of age. His hot hand propelled the Nuggets, and an 11-0 run by the Bulls to start the final quarter was a minor blip on a dominant Otago performance.
Tahjere McCall popped up when needed for the Nuggets, draining four of his seven
attempts from long range, and Sam Timmins grabbed nine rebounds as he took a back seat on offence.
Isaac Davidson’s 16 points for the Bulls included 4-of-7 from three, but the home team was out-shot 51%-39% and out-rebounded 42-32.
The Nuggets’ road trip continues against the Jets in Palmerston North tomorrow.