ANBL: Bullets thrash Taipans to end Breakers' season

It seemed like Mission Impossible.

Yet Brisbane remain in the NBL top-four hunt after a stunning 124-88 victory over arch rivals Cairns at Nissan Arena.

The Bullets needed to beat third-placed Cairns on Saturday by at least 34 points to keep their faint finals hopes alive.

Remarkably, Brisbane pulled off the daunting task in front of a delirious sold- out crowd.

Now for the hard part.

The Bullets have to rely on Melbourne United being upset by second-last South East Melbourne on Sunday to scrape into the playoffs.

United (14-13 record) are expected to thrash the Phoenix after receiving a shot of confidence on Thursday night with their 16-point win over the Taipans.

Melbourne United can leapfrog the NZ Breakers (15-13) and the Bullets (15-13) if they down a Phoenix side without star Mitch Creek (knee) due to their superior points percentage.

Whoever finishes fourth starts their best of three semi-final series from February 29 against minor premiers Sydney.

Still, Bullets fans are daring to dream after Saturday's result, led by Nathan Sobey (30 points), Cameron Gliddon (25) and EJ Singler (21).

Brisbane kept their supporters on the edge of their seats as they prayed for the 34-plus margin.

They jumped to a 39-15 first-quarter lead, but had it cut to 18 by halftime (63-45) before finding another gear in the second half.

They led 98-69 at the last break but didn't crack a 30-point lead until the final term.

As fans crossed their fingers for the miracle win, Gliddon sank two free throws 

to push Brisbane past a 34-point lead for the first time in the dying seconds.

The Bullets are hoping for a finals great escape for the second-straight season.

Last season, they entered the final round in fifth and scraped into the playoffs after beating the Breakers and fourth-placed Adelaide lost.

The Taipans need to regroup before their semi-finals series from February 28 against second-placed Perth.

They were on a four-game winning run before suffering the 16-point loss to Melbourne United and Saturday's defeat.

Brisbane finished with a 10-4 home record - the fourth best in the NBL

 

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