The Mike Pero Nelson Giants came from behind for the second time in Round 6 to beat the Night 'n Day Otago Nuggets 89-78 in Dunedin.
The Giants jumped out to an early advantage in the first quarter but Nikau McCullough rattled off nine straight points to level things up at 22 after 10 minutes. The Nuggets were the better team in the second quarter, outscoring the Giants 21-13 behind healthy contributions from McCullough and Keith Williams. McCullough totaled a team-high 24 points for the game.
The Nuggets held Sal's NBL leading scorer Trey Mourning to just six points in the first half on 2-of-8 shooting. The Giants as a team were just 36 percent from the field in the half and 4-of-18 from three. Mourning would go scoreless in the second half, but he did grab 11 rebounds.
The Giants went on a 23-9 run in the third quarter to gain control of the game, but the Nuggets would keep within striking distance trailing by five heading to the fourth.
Nelson - like they did on Thursday night against the Sharks - were strong in the second half and erased another halftime deficit. Jarrod West was phenomenal for the Giants with 27 points, five rebounds, 10 assists and two steals.
The Giants' defence has caused problems for almost every team they've faced and they certainly made another statement with their second road win of the round.
With news that Tahjere McCall will depart the Nuggets for an NBA Summer League opportunity, Otago will have ample time to find a replacement as they don't have a game in the next round. He went out with nine points, five rebounds and four assists in 29 minutes of work.
SCORE: Nuggets 78, Giants 89
Nuggets: McCullough 24 PTS | Williams | 23 PTS, 8 REB
Giants: West 27 PTS, 5 REB, 10 AST | Dempster 19 PTS, 9 REB | Thompson 16 PTS, 6 REB
Full box score HERE.
Stuff MVP Votes
Jarrod West (Giants) - 10 votes
Sam Dempster (Giants) - 7 votes
Nikau McCullough (Nuggets) - 6 votes
Keith Williams (Nuggets) - 5 votes
Todd Withers (Nuggets) - 1 vote
Sam Thompson (Giants) - 1 vote
Nuggets – June 16 @ Auckland Tuatara
Giants – June 11 vs. Franklin Bulls
Round 6 Sal's NBL Schedule