Nuggets wake up after poor start

New Otago Nuggets recruit Tai Webster is looking forward to playing against his brother, Corey...
New Otago Nuggets recruit Tai Webster was instrumental in the teams win over the Canterbury Rams last night. PHOTO PETER MCINTOSH
Here is an unlikely story. Give your opponent a 17-1 head start and chase them down.

That is exactly what the Otago Nuggets achieved in Christchurch last night.

The Canterbury Rams stole a march on a Nuggets team which has been struggling for offensive rhythm of late. The home team maintained that lead for most of the second quarter.

But Tai Webster had warmed up by then, and got the comeback under way with six quick points at the end of the half.

His haul of 28 points, six rebounds and six assists proved instrumental. He won the battle of the Webster brothers as well.

Older sibling Corey Webster had a very decent night for the Rams, with 18 points, six rebounds and eight assists. They can play, those Websters.

Todd Withers had a top night too.

The American power forward hit a trio of triples early in the third to give the Nuggets an improbable lead.

He scored 26 points, while Michael Harris crept his way to a game-high 30 points.

Harris did not have a great shooting night from distance. But his ability to speed past opponents on his way to the bucket often looks effortless.

There is no flashy dunk when he gets there either. He just banks a lay-up.

The win lifted the Nuggets to 9-5, and there is a very good chance that will be enough to get them into the playoffs.

The Rams dropped to 9-5, but they look safe as well.

The early signs looked apocalyptic for the Nuggets.

Tevin Brown opened the scoring with a free lay-up under the hoop. Normally Brown would have run into Sam Timmins, but the star centre was unavailable.

Taylor Britt bounced in a three-pointer off the rim. But it was Max Darling (16 points) who really shone early.

He drained a couple of three-pointers and got in close for another bucket.

The Nuggets were down 17-1 after four minutes.

There was very little to like about the opening quarter from the visitors.

Galin Smith slammed down a trio of dunks to put an exclamation mark on a punishing 30-12 quarter.

The Nuggets’ shooting was wayward, with the exception of Withers. He thumped in a dunk and drilled a three.

But the ball kept wobbling out for his team-mates.

Tai Webster carved six points off the deficit in the final moments of the half.

He made a drive to the hoop, got the basket and landed the free throw for the foul.

Then he popped in a three-pointer with two seconds left.

The Nuggets trailed 55-44 but made a big move early in the third.

Withers hit back-to-back-to-back three-pointers.

But it got even better. Harris sped his way to the hoop for some buckets.

Nikau McCullough hit a three late and Josh Aitcheson tipped in a rebound to give the Nuggets a 79-68 lead with 10 minutes to go.

Tai Webster hit a couple of threes early in the fourth to dash hopes of any Rams' comeback.