In front of another full house and a plethora of former players the Mike Pero Nelson Giants celebrated their 40th anniversary in the Sal's NBL, but somebody forgot to tell the Go Media Otago Nuggets who decided to gate-crash the party with a 94-84 win.
The Nuggets landed three triples to open the game, stunning the Giants and quickly moved to a 14-2 start, before closing out the opening period with a 31-19 lead on the back off a 66 per cent shooting clip.
Such was the start from the Nuggets they didn't miss from downtown, sinking six straight treys, while at the other end the Giants went 3/8 and shot at 38 per cent overall.
Isaiah Moss started with a hot hand and set up the victory with some blistering shooting across the opening half, while both Sam Timmins and Geremy McKay put the Giants to the sword with big games inside the paint.
The night couldn't have gone any worse for the Giants, they just couldn't land a blow and though they had 25 more shots, they shot at a lowly 34 per cent. It was the story of the night.
The Nuggets even amassed 20 turnovers, but the Giants failed to make them pay.
Hunter Hale and Donte Ingram could only manage a collective 10/35 shooting, while Tom Ingham was 3/11.
Up 54-37 at the half, and then 71-57 with a quarter to play, the Nuggets did withstand some nervous moments down the stretch as Sam Dempster and Hale tried to lift their team to a miracle win, but this game belonged to the Nuggets and they thoroughly deserved the victory.
With a tight race expected for the Final 4, the Nuggets now take the head-to-head on the Giants in a duel that could be telling come the end of the regular season.
Nelson Giants (84) lost to Otago Nuggets (94) - BOXSCORE
Giants: Hunter Hale (21pts), Sam Dempster (19pts), Nic Trathen (13pts).
Nuggets: Isaiah Moss (24pts, 5 treys), Geremy McKay (21pts, 9rbs), Sam Timmins (15pts, 12rbs, 5ast), Richie Rodger (11pts, 7ast)
Stuff MVP Votes
Isaiah Moss (Nuggets) 10
Sam Timmins (Nuggets) 7
Geremy McKay (Nuggets) 6
Sam Dempster (Giants) 5
Hunter Hale (Giants) 2
(Photo Credit: PhotosportNZ)