Taipans' spirits soar after breaking 14-game losing streak
The Cairns Taipans broke their victory drought last night in a case of when it rains, it pours.
They notched up their first win of the NBL season since round one, beating the Brisbane Bullets at home in a victory made even more notable because of the 29 point deficit, with the Snakes scoring 109 to Brisbane’s 80.
Import Devon Hall was the star with the ball, shooting career-high 24 points, while big centre Nathan Jawai equaled a season best with 18.
Jarrod Kenny produced his best performance in orange too, ending the night with 15 points, six rebounds and three assists.
Head coach Mike Kelly said it was a relief for the team to end its hoodoo, which he admitted had affected confidence.
“That can chip away when you start losing game after game.
“There was payoff tonight for what these guys have done for the last few months and it’s been a long-time coming, that payoff.
"For us to be able to give back to the fans a little by getting a win, that’s what everybody’s been hanging for and it was from the heart.”
The coach also praised the team’s defensive game.
"They’d (Brisbane) been such a great three point shooting team and for us to take that away was kind of the most pleasing part.”
Also speaking after the game, guard Devon Hall said his personal performance came second to the team result.
“Getting a win like that here, it’s been a long time coming and it felt great.”
- Cairns' 109 points was their highest in a 40-minute game and their most since October 2008
- The Taipans 29-point win was the fourth highest in franchise history
- Both of Cairns' wins this season have been against the Brisbane Bullets
- The Taipans shot 59.6% from the field, which is the second highest in franchise history
- The 29-point margin was the second biggest win in the NBL this season
The Taipans next take on the Sydney Kings at home on Monday and coach Kelly said they’ll have to continue to work hard to build on their newfound confidence.
“It's just one game so we hit the scout and try to build on it.
"I'm not sure how we shoot 58% from three again other than giving guys confidence with the freedom to take good shots," he said.
"I can now really kill them after a win and we can hammer some things out."