NBL 2020: Otago Nuggets continue winning start over Nelson Giants

Top draft pick Jordan Ngatai has led his Otago Nuggets to their second victory on consecutive nights to maintain their winning start to the NBL Showdown.

With their 107-82 result over Nelson Giants, the southerners join Taranaki Mountain Airs atop the revamped national league with 2-0 records.

Hoping to earn an extended NZ Breakers contract, Ngati led all scorers with 23 points, including five three-pointers, with Nick Trathen pacing the Giants with 21 points.

Still playing without their top two draftees - Tall Blacks legend Mika Vukona and former international Mike Karena - Nelson quickly fell off the pace, falling 11 points behind midway through the opening quarter.

Otago's advantage swelled to 16 midway through the second period, their rivals closed within five in the third, before a 31-16 final stanza provided the dominant final scoreline.

The Nuggets shot 56 percent from the floor, including 13/30 from the arc, and dished out 25 assists, while forcing their opponents into 22 turnovers and creating 15 steals defensively.

Otago's hot start will be tested, when they face Taranaki in their next outing on Wednesday, although the Airs have games against Canterbury Rams and Auckland Huskies before then.

Otago Nuggets 107 (Jordan Ngatai 23, Jordan Hunt 19, Josh Aitcheson 13, Kane Keil & Richard Rodger 11) Nelson Giants 82 (Nick Trethen 21, Tom Ingham 17)

Meanwhile, Canterbury joined Otago and Taranaki on 2-0, with a 75-72 nailbiter over Franklin Bulls.

Also playing without injured franchise player Jack Salt, the Cantabrians still led by as many as 17 points, but allowed their rivals a two-point lead with 4m 29s remaining. Clutch free-throw shooting down the stretch allowed them to regain their advantage through to the finish.

Taylor Britt led the Rams with 19 points and 10 rebounds, while Isaac Davidson paced all scorers with 21 points and Dom Kelman-Poto compiled 20 points/10 rebounds for the Bulls.

Canterbury's unbeaten record will also be on the line against Taranaki on Saturday.

Canterbury Rams 75 (Taylor Britt 19, Toby Gillooly 16) Franklin Bulls 72 (Isaac Davidson 21, Dom Kelman-Poto 20)


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