Nuggets’ winning streak ends at 12

The Otago Nuggets have a fresh challenge — how to bounce back from a loss. And it has been a while.

The Auckland Tuatara ended the Nuggets' 12-game winning-streak in the league with a 93-84 win at the Edgar Centre last night.

JaQuori McLaughlin did his best to carry the home side to victory with 39 points.

But a tepid start, some wayward shooting from distance and early foul trouble for Nuggets key forwards Sam Timmins and Todd Withers saw the game drift out of reach.

Jarrad Weeks led the scoring for the visitors. He collected 24 points, and experienced centre Rob Loe grabbed 16 rebounds and poured in 19 points.

Thomas Beattie (15 points) and Chris McIntosh (11 points) had their moments as well.

Withers struck a three from the corner early, but that proved a false dawn.

McIntosh responded with two of his own from the same spot, just at the other end of the court.

Weeks found a clear path to the hoop and Loe swatted away a lay-up from Harris.

All the early exchanges belonged to the Tuatara.

Reuben Te Rangi slipped passed McLaughlin for a basket and drew a foul as well.

The lead got out to eight.

Matthew Bardsley hit a late three to pump some air back in the home team's tyres.

McLaughlin pruned the 19-14 first quarter deficit with an early three in the second period.

And Timmins provided another spark. He stole the ball from Loe and Harris made a tough finished at the other end.

But Timmins joined Withers in foul trouble and took a long sit down.

All the Nuggets' progress disappeared with back-to-back-to-back three-pointers by the visitors.

McLaughlin helped keep his side in touch with 13 points in the quarter.

But the Nuggets found themselves trailing 46-35 at halftime.

The fouls kept coming for the Nuggets. Timmins picked up his third two minutes into the next period.

While he was off the lead blew out to 15.

Beattie sent Withers the wrong way with a feint to nail one of his three-pointers in the period.

That blocked any run the Nuggets could cook up.

He also got the ball to Loe, who muscled the ball in to score just before the break.

Down 72-52, the Nuggets found the intensity they were missing all game.

Withers got a steal, a block, a three and another block.

Timmins slammed in a dunk.

McLaughlin kept banging in shots.

The 2023 people in the crowd finally came alive.

The Nuggets were making a late run. Too late, as it turned out.

They paid the price for a mostly flat performance.


The scores
Auckland Tuatara 93
Jarrad Weeks 24, Rob Loe 19
Otago Nuggets  84
JaQuori McLaughlin 39, Michael Harris 22
Quarter scores: 19-14, 46-35, 72-52.