Giants rally late to down lively Jets

A concerted Giants effort has seen them come from behind to record their sixth win of the season over a lively Manawatu Jets side 98-92. 

The opening quarter was not short of points, with both sides converting on over half their shot attempts. Ellenson in particular had a hot hand, notching nine quick ones to keep the hosts out in front. 

Just as potent for the Giants was big man Rhys Vague, who drained three triples to keep his team within striking distance. They trailed by 26-19 at the first break.

Jordair Jett had a unusually quiet performance for the visitors and only managed 13 points across the 40 minutes. This saw Mika Vukona step up in his sixth-man role and provide the spark his team needed to stay in touch.

The Tall Black provided 10 points off the pine and exerted himself on the defence. However, his effort didn't do enough to flip the script, as the Giants still trailed the Jets 48-42 at the half. 

A Jett three-point play and trey from Daniel Grida drew the visitors level two minutes into the second half, but back-to-back lay ups from the Jets' skipper Daishon Knight kept the Giants at bay. 

The following five minutes was all about the Giants, who found contributions from both starters and the bench. A Jett lay up gave the visitors lead midway through the third, which was followed up by three consecutive Tyrell Harrison buckets and another easy two for Vukona. 

The surge from the men in blue caused a change in momentum and put the Giants ahead 70-66 going into the fourth.

Scoring at both ends kept the Giants buffer at a two-possession game for the majority of the final period, with the Jets cutting it to one on multiple occasions. 

A reply from the Giants any time the game came close meant the Jets would have to wait another week to place themselves atop the bottom three.

Nelson Giants 98 defeated Manawatu Jets 92

Jets - Daniel Grida 19pts, 11rbs, 5ast, Rhys Vague 17pts & 8rbs, Tyrell Harrison 18pts & 8rbs. 

Giants - Daishon Knight 35pts, 7rbs, 3ast, Wally Elleson 27pts, 5rbs, 3 stl, Taane Samuels 11 pts & 5rbs.

Stats That Matter - the Giants finished second in practically every positive statistical category this evening, but still managed to walk away with the win. Among the positives they took out of tonight, the most glaringly obvious was points in the paint. The visitors won the battle on the block 54-40, making up for their 27% shooting from deep. 

  1. Poor shooting from deep was a telling stat for both teams and led to the majority of the points coming from in the paint. The Giants shot an efficient 57% on two-point field goals and attempted only six threes in the second half to the Jets 16. The hosts lived from down town in the opening 20, but fell on their sword with their shot taking in the last 20. 
  2. Daishon Knight and Wally Ellenson were both superb this afternoon, which with the addition of Kuran Iverson may have got the Jets over the line. This year we have seen many trios do their best for their team but come up short at the final hooter. It is now clearer than ever that you need more than individual brilliance to sit on the northern end of the table. 
  3. The Giants had five different players score in double-digits for what seems to be the first time all season. They're no different to any other team in the Sal's NBL in which they rely heavily on the presence of their imports, but tonight they delivered a team effort and got it done when it mattered most. 

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