Ruthless Bullets crush Taipans in NBL romp

The Brisbane Bullets have trounced Cairn Taipans 99-68 in the NBL.
The Brisbane Bullets have trounced Cairn Taipans 99-68 in the NBL.

The Bullets have unearthed a ruthless streak as they continued their march towards the NBL finals with a 99-68 dismissal of Cairns at the Brisbane Entertainment Centre.

Brisbane point guard Jason Cadee, with 18 points, and import Lamar Patterson (15 points, 12 rebounds) ran riot in another step towards a finals berth.

It's frightening to imagine what they could have achieved had coach Andrej Lemanis not rested them in the last quarter when the result was beyond dispute.

Bench guard Adam Gibson had 17 points and all 12 Bullets players made the scoresheet in a lopsided contest.

Lemanis said the relentless defence was the cornerstone of the victory, especially with the effort to keep Nate Jawai to just two points, one assist and two rebounds.

"For me the most pleasing thing is that our defence was solid for the majority of the game.

"There was a nice intent at that end of the floor and it gives you chances to win if teams have trouble scoring on you," he said.

"You are not going to shoot it well every night but if you play defence, it's going to give you chances.

"I really enjoy the group because they are smart, they are into it and they care. We had some strategy

change-ups as opposed to the last time we played Cairns and the guys were all over it.''

With wins so far against last year's champion Melbourne United and top four contenders the Perth Wildcats and Adelaide 36ers, there is little doubt the Bullets are in the hunt.

The scenario was simple for Brisbane. A win against the Taipans would give them a chance of slipping past the Wildcats into third by the end of the weekend.

Defeat could mean a slide to fifth, but after two shockers previously this season against Cairns the Bullets started with intent to crush the last-placed far north Queenslanders.

They led by 12 points at quarter-time and nothing happened for the Snakes unless it came from the hands of guard Melo Trimble (23 points).

Cadee had an impressive 13 points by halftime but the groundwork had been done much closer to the basket.

Forward Cameron Bairstow turned in a powerful performance despite giving away almost 40kg in his battle with Taipans mountain Jawai.

Jawai had little impact on the game and it showed in Brisbane's rebounding dominance.

"When you're playing on the back foot and they're in attack mode it's not a good combination," said Cairns coach Mike Kelly.

"They got going and I thought we were soft defensively."

Australian Associated Press