Nuggets back on form against Rams

A big performance was needed and the Otago Nuggets delivered.

They responded to last Saturday's poor showing with a 95-82 win over the Canterbury Rams in Christchurch last night. It takes them to a 4-1 road record and leaves them tied for third in the National Basketball League.

No-one was more influential than Sam Timmins.

The centre followed Saturday's off night with a monster triple-double, one of a handful in Nuggets’ history.

He posted 18 points, 18 rebounds, 10 assists and three blocks to dominate at both ends in a commanding display.

It was the way the ball moved that was most notable.

The Nuggets racked up 25 assists while hitting from deep and cutting to the hoop to generate quality looks.

The quality of those looks helped Isaiah Moss (24 points), Geremy McKay (21 points) and Richie Rodger (12 points) all shoot above 50% from the field.

Meanwhile, defensively, Timmins' inside presence limited the Rams' layups. The side contained Deshon Taylor well, who, after scoring 14 points early, finished with just 21, while fellow import EJ Singler was held to 16.

Timmins’ passing was evident early and he racked up five of his assists in the first quarter.

He hit Rodger on two cuts, while the point guard also hit a three-pointer to score the Nuggets' first seven points himself.

Three baskets to Moss gave the Nuggets a 16-8 lead, before the Rams fought back midway through the quarter.

The Nuggets began attacking the hoop and started drawing fouls as the quarter wore on.

McKay became prominent and scored seven himself to give the side a 27-15 lead at quarter-time.

That continued early in the second quarter.

McKay continued his run, before Moss connected with Timmins on an alley-oop to force the Rams into a time-out at 33-19.

Taylor looked to keep the Rams in the game and his four-point play to make it 36-25 took him to 14 points.

The Nuggets kept the score ticking over, before four quick baskets to former Nugget Derek Albertson helped close the gap to 45-42 at halftime.

That became 47-47 on a three-point play from Quinten Bailey.

But the Nuggets responded with 13-0 run,

before the Rams called time-out and stemmed the flow, but the Nuggets took a 73-60 lead to the final break.

From there the Nuggets extended the lead to 20 midway through the fourth quarter and while the Rams rallied late, it was too much to come back from.

The Nuggets will now travel to Napier to face the Hawke's Bay Hawks tomorrow.

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