The Go Media Otago Nuggets have scored another home win and improved to a 2-1 record after downing a winless (0-4) Property Brokers Manawatu Jets unit, 108-96.
The re-match of the 2020 Sal's NBL Showdown Grand Final delivered plenty of highlights, but once again it was a celebration for the Nuggets, much to the delight of another vocal home crowd of 1,535.
An opening 25-12 quarter by the Nuggets sounded some early warnings for the Jets, most of which wasn't helped by the visitor's 21 per cent clip on 4-of-19 shooting.
The second quarter saw a rejuvenated Jets' outfit desperate to avoid a fourth successive loss, their 37-29 run and an improved 16-of-23 shooting reducing the margin to 5-points at the half, the Nuggets still leading 54-49.
As they did to open the game, the Nuggets started the second half on fire, especially Australian Geremy McKay who looked like he had a point to prove after a quiet start to the season. The strong forward stepped up in tandem with Sam Timmins and once again the gap started to grow.
By the last break the home team led by 14 points, and at one stage by as much as 19 points. With all 12 players hitting the court, this was a brilliant team effort by the Nuggets.
American Isaiah Moss was the star of the show from start to finish, ensuring the Nuggets never surrendered the lead at any point, his haul of 33 points and seven makes from beyond the arc a performance filled with highlights.
In a unique scheduling twist, the Nuggets hit the road for the first road trip next round and their first stop will be in Palmerston North where they'll meet the Jets once again.
Based on what we witnessed tonight, the Jets have a bit of work to do if they want to avoid a 0-5 start to the season.
Daishon Knight and Jayden Bezzant paced the visitors, while Jake McKinlay continued to take big strides forward in his young career, but they needed a few others to go with them tonight.
Otago Nuggets (108) defeated/lost to Manawatu Jets (96) - BOXSCORE
Nuggets: Isaiah Moss (33pts, 7 treys), Sam Timmins (23pts, 10rbs, 8ast), Geremy McKay (18pts)
Jets: Daishon Knight (29pts), Jayden Bezzant (23pts), Shane Temara (14pst, 15rbs), Jake McKinlay (13pts).
Stuff MVP Votes
Isaiah Moss (Nuggets-10)
Sam Timmins (Nuggets-7)
Jayden Bezzant (Jets-7)
Geremy McKay (Nuggets-3)
Daishon Knight (Jets-3)