The mighty Wellington Saints hardly broke a sweat in their weekly New Zealand National Basketball League (NBL) tilt as they blasted the Manawatu Jets, 100-77, on their TSB Bank Arena home floor on Sunday, June 13.
Tohi Smith-Milner led the balanced attack with a team-high 21 points on 8-of-13 shooting while squad captain Dion Prewster chipped in 16 markers and a game-best 8 assists.
Fil-Kiwi forward Ken Tuffin, however, stole the show with a perfect line of 15 points, 4-of-4 shooting, 3-of-3 from three, and 4-of-4 from the free-throw line in just 18 minutes on the floor as a starter.
With the win, the Saints maintained the league’s best winning percentage with an 8-1 record while the Jets remained at ninth in the 10-team field with a 3-8 slate. For now, the 9-3 Southland Sharks have claimed the top spot due to having more wins and games played.
As has always been the case with a majority of Wellington games, the Saints kept it close with the Jets early on, and only led by 4, 38-34, at the half.
However, the feared offensive switch was yet again turned on by the third quarter as Wellington unleashed a game-sealing 26-3 run in just five minutes, capped by a Kerwin Roach Jr. layup at the 4:55 mark for the 61-37 lead.
Smith-Milner then sank a late triple for good measure with 23 seconds left in the frame to reach a 34-point peak, 81-47. An entire quarter of garbage time then followed in the fourth just to formalize the final score.
Daishon Knight led all scorers in the sorry loss with 25 points on a 10-of-19 clip while Nikau Mccullough sparked the bench with 16 points in 21 minutes.
The Saints get five days of rest before they face the third-ranked Hawke’s Bay Hawks (7-3) on Friday, June 18, in the first game of a back-to-back set. – Rappler.com