Nuggets run riot against woeful Bulls

Otago Nuggets guard Isaiah Moss prepares to slam dunk during his side’s NBL win over the Franklin...
Otago Nuggets guard Isaiah Moss prepares to slam dunk during his side’s NBL win over the Franklin Bulls at the Edgar Centre in Dunedin last night. PHOTO: LINDA ROBERTSON
Murdered would be an understatement.

This was a massacre.

The Otago Nuggets thrashed a woeful Franklin Bulls team 104-64 at the Edgar Centre last night.

Franklin managed just nine points in each of the first and third quarters, having no answer to the Nuggets’ 2-3 zone for the second time.

It takes the Nuggets to three wins from their past four games and to an 8-5 record, and still leaves them well in the playoff race. The remaining five games will not be so easy, though.

As good as the Nuggets were last night — and they did play well — this Bulls side was terrible.

They are missing several players, although still had two Breakers in Kyrin Galloway and Isaac Davidson.

Perhaps being on the second night of a double-header was a factor too.

Despite Otago’s zone completely stifling them in their previous meeting, the Bulls still seemed to lack any structure to beat it.

Sam Timmins’ presence inside made shots at the rim hard to come by, while the energy from the Nuggets guards was fantastic.

It left them resorting to shooting three-pointers, hitting just five out of 35.

The Nuggets locked down the rebounds — giving up just eight offensive rebounds, to the 15 they secured themselves at the other end.

Offensively, the Nuggets pounded the post early, before lighting it up from deep as the game went on.

Timmins led the team in scoring with 24 points and added 19 rebounds, while Isaiah Moss added 23 points, including six triples.

But it was a complete team display in which the Nuggets got production right through its squad.

Nuggets coach Brent Matehaere was thrilled with the display.

"It was a superb performance," he said.

"Obviously the Bulls were in a tough position having to play the southern swing.

"We made sure we got out and got the job done. The way we started and our execution on offence and defence was outstanding.

"I think in two quarters we held them to nine points. If you can do that as a basketball team you go a long way towards being successful."

The side’s defensive intensity was noticeable, a clear difference after giving up too many open shots in a thrashing from the Hawke’s Bay Hawks a week ago.

"Obviously they shoot a high volume of three-point shots.

"We were prepared for that,. They shot 35 and only hit five of them — we had a hand up on virtually every one.

"They might have got a few open in the second, but testament to the guys working really hard off the ball, showing the intensity that was needed to win basketball games.

"We got a kick in the butt a couple of weeks ago and we’ve responded really well."

The Nuggets opened the game on an 11-2 run, pushing the ball and getting to the line.

Geremy McKay twice completed three-point plays.

Timmins followed with two easy baskets down low, while the Bulls offence continued to struggle against the Nuggets zone.

McKay continued to get to the foul line, helping the Nuggets to a 23-9 quarter-time lead.

That continued into the second quarter and Isaiah Moss hit three consecutive three-pointers — the second a four-point play — took the lead to 37-13.

The Bulls began to find scoring while Timmins took a long break on two fouls — during which the Nuggets switched to man-on defence — notably through Breakers forward Kyrin Galloway.

But the Nuggets kept the score ticking over and led 57-37 at halftime, each of its starters having scored at least eight points and Moss having 15 points in the quarter.

That just continued through the third quarter.

The Bulls again managed just nine points while the Nuggets essentially got whatever they wanted on offence, a trend which continued in another dominant fourth quarter.

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