The Wellington Saints have kept their unbeaten start to the Sal’s NBL alive with a downhill run in the second half at the TSB Arena.
The Mike Pero Nelson Giants arrived in the capital buoyed by an impressive weekend in Auckland yet wary of a “Doomsday Double” road-trip consisting of the Saints and Hawks on back-to-back nights.
The first half was part chess match part arm wrestle, as there was action on and off the ball. Hunter Hale showed his speed and skill for the Giants while Tohi Smith-Milner was a jack of all trades for the Saints, finishing the half with 5 blocks. Neither team gave an inch, and it was 39-39 at half time.
If the first two quarters were two of the most enthralling we’ve seen in 2021, the last two may have been two of the least. The Saints exploded out of the blocks with Dion Prewster, who was kept scoreless through the first half, getting hot from inside and out. Taane Samuel piled on the misery as the turnovers racked up for the Giants; the Saints taking the 3rd term 34-18.
With the Hawks game less than 24 hours away, Mike Fitchett went to his bench halfway through the fourth as it was a procession for the Saints in front of a sold-out TSB Arena.
Wellington Saints (95) defeated Nelson Giants (69) - BOXSCORE
Saints: Taane Samuel 24pts 8-10fg, Dion Prewster 14pts 5-8fg, Tohi Smith Milner 10pts 9rbs 5ast 5blk
Giants: Hunter Hale 26pts 10-21fg
Stuff MVP Votes
Taane Samuel (Saints) 10pts
Dion Prewster (Saints) 7pts
Hunter Hale (Giants) 6pts
Tohi Smith-Milner (Saints) 3pts
Donte Ingram (Giants) 2pts
Kenneth Tuffin (Saints) 2pts