The Mike Pero Nelson Giants put the Southland Sharks to the sword on Saturday night at the Trafalgar Centre, winning 89-81, a scoreline that flattered the visitors, on the heart-warming return of coach Rob Beveridge as he recovers from injury.
Trey Mourning set the standard early for the Giants, as they looked to cement their playoff aspirations, knowing a win would all but secure them a spot at the Eventfinda Stadium party from Aug 10-14.
Brayden Inger kept the Sharks within reach for most of the first half, but a flurry of missed threes (7/26 for the game) and free throws (14/24 for the game) would be Southland's undoing. At the other end, Sam Dempster continued his impressive form, hitting big shot after big shot, while Jarrod West pulled the strings for Mike Fitchett's outfit.
If there was bad news tonight for the Giants, it potentially came in the form of Alex McNaught's hard fall, which saw the breakout guard clutching his knee while writhing in pain. He was walking unaided by the end of the game, but with the playoffs looming, the Giants won't breathe a sigh of relief until the tests come back.
The result wasn't in doubt by the end of the third quarter, and with the series wrapped up Fitchett went to his youthful bench. Mojave King and Dru-Leo Leusugi-Ape feasted down the stretch against the young Giants, hence the flattering scoreline. The Giants improve to 9-4, while the Sharks drop to 3-10, the playoffs out of reach.
SCORE: Giants 89, Sharks 81
Giants: West 18pts 11ast 7-10fg | Mourning 24pts 12reb | Dempster 20pts 5reb 5stl 7-10fg
Sharks: Inger 18pts 5reb 8-13fg | King 22pts
Full box score HERE.
Stuff MVP Votes
Jarrod West (Giants) - 10 votes
Trey Mourning (Giants) - 8 votes
Sam Dempster (Giants) - 5 votes
Brayden Inger (Sharks) - 4 votes
Mojave King (Sharks) - 3 votes
Giants - July 13 vs. Manawatu Jets
Sharks – July 15 @ Auckland Tuatara
Round 11 Sal's NBL Schedule