Hunter Hale has delivered another masterclass to help the Mike Pero Nelson Giants withstand a gritty comeback by the Go Media Otago Nuggets to clinch a thrilling 89-86 overtime win.
Hale dropped another 41 points in a supreme performance, capably supported by Donte Ingram and Nic Trathen, while the Nuggets looked to Sam Timmins, Geremy McKay and Isaiah Moss to help them bridge a 33-47 half-time deficit to tie the game in regulation time.
The Giants started with a 15-4 start with Hale and Ingram combining for all but two of those points, while Trathen came off the bench to add a quickfire 13 points of his own during a strong run late in the first and and into the second period.
By the half it looked like it was going to be a comfortable win for the visitors, but then we got to see the best of the Nuggets in the second half as they went on a 44-30 run to close out a dramatic chase.
Dominating inside, Timmins and McKay combined for 39 points, while Moss continued to show is silky skills with another strong performance.
The Nuggets will be disappointed with their 17 turnovers, which led to the Giants scoring 27 points.
Overtime was neck and neck with no team able to push clear, in the end it was a further 7 points from Hale that proved the difference, capping a huge night for the Giants star.
Otago Nuggets (86) lost to Nelson Giants (89) - BOXSCORE
Nuggets: Sam Timmins (18pts, 14rbs, 8ast), Geremy McKay (21pts), Isaiah Moss (21pts)
Giants: Hunter Hale (41pts, 9rbs, 5stl, 6 treys), Donte Ingram (17pts, 5stl), Nic Trathen (15pts)
Stuff MVP Votes
Hunter Hale (Giants) 7
Isaiah Moss (Nuggets) 7
Sam Timmins (Nuggets) 5
Donte Ingram (Giants) 5
Geremy McKay (Nuggets) 5
Nic Trathen (Giants) 1