Nuggets pour on the points

Ben Henshall, of the Otago Nuggets (left), tries to get past Manawatu Jets player Liam Judd in...
Ben Henshall, of the Otago Nuggets (left), tries to get past Manawatu Jets player Liam Judd in their NBL game at the Edgar Centre in Dunedin last night. Photo: Gregor Richardson
Cool your Jets.

The Otago Nuggets poured in 112 points to shade the Manawatu Jets in a high-scoring encounter at the Edgar Centre last night.

There was some defence played. Promise.

But both teams played the game like they were being chased by lightning.

The Jets cracked a hundred as well.

Campbell Scott led all scorers with 31 points and Troy Baxter jun drilled 24.

It is not often you score 103 and lose by nine points.

Kimani Lawrence rolled in lay-up after lay-up to net 30 points for the Nuggets, and Ben Henshall popped in 28.

The 19-year-old can really play. But the night belonged to Lawrence again.

He is tough. He will need to work on his free-throw shooting and he got into foul trouble again.

But the man can sure get to the hoop and he is a quality finisher.

And when he is not on the court the Nuggets really miss his presence.

Tai Webster showed his class with 20 points and six assists, while Jack Andrew pulled down 11 rebounds.

The 1350-strong crowd got treated to some attacking basketball.

The Nuggets took all of four seconds to get the ball in the hoop. Lawrence made a driving lay-up and an early statement.

Webster was creating headaches for the Jets’ defence as well.

Henshall slotted an open look from three-point range and got on the end of fast break, netting the lay-up and the extra shot for the foul.

Liam Judd slammed in a one-handed dunk to generate some energy for the visitors.

But they came out after the first break trailing 36-22 all the same.

Henshall continued to make a mockery of how hard the game actually is.

He added to his rapidly growing total with a mid-range jumper and another three.

Import Zaccheus Darko-Kelly picked up a third foul in the opening minute of the second, though, and took a seat back on the pine.

Lawrence and Webster took a spell on the bench late in the period and the Nuggets’ lost some direction.

The Jets closed the margin to 62-52 in a high-scoring half.

Baxter jun got himself a lot of trips to the free-throw line to help the Jets stay in touch.

The Nuggets moved into the 70s when Webster got an over-the-shoulder no-look pass to Lawrence under the rim. They had to have practised that one.

Darcy Knox dropped in two threes shortly after Darko-Kelly picked up his fourth. It was not a happy night for the American import.

With 10 minutes to play, the Nuggets had firm grip on the game with an 84-69 lead.

Lawrence tossed in two quick lay-ups and Darko-Kelly finally got on the board with a three. He fouled out shortly after.

Lawrence had picked up a fourth and in his absence the Jets mounted a run.

Webster drilled a three-pointer to ease some nerves. And the Jets lost big centre Tyrell Harrison (13 points, 13 rebounds). He fouled out as well.

In the Rapid League game, Matthew Bardsley nailed a lay-up to beat the buzzer and seal a 31-29 win for the Nuggets against the Jets.

Auckland Tuatara beat the Taranaki Airs 84-77 at home on Wednesday to open their account.


The scores

Otago Nuggets 112

(Kimani Lawrence 30, Ben Henshall 28)

Manawatū Jets 103

(Campbell Scott 31, Troy Baxter jun 24) 

Quarter scores: 36-22, 62-52, 84-69.​​​​