NBL round 18: Tasmania win

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The JackJumpers’ imports stood up when Tasmania needed them most, as Jordon Crawford and Milton Doyle combined to all but end Cairns’ top six hopes

Crawford put up 25 points, which included six threes, while Doyle had 17 points, eight rebounds and six assists in a busy night at Cairns Convention Centre, as the JackJumpers strengthened their grip on third with a 94-86 win.

Just one win separated the third-placed JackJumpers and seventh-placed Taipans, and with one point between the teams at halftime it could have gone either way.

But Tasmania’s defence was simply too good, forcing Cairns into mistakes with the ball, then made them pay by hitting big shots.

Cairns import Patrick Miller had a massive night with 31 points, while Tahjere McCall had 20 points despite starting from the bench.

There was some concern for Will Magnay after the forward left the floor with a sternum injury after a heavy collision with Taipans star Tahjere McCall, and he will race the clock to be fit for Sunday’s clash with the 36ers in Hobart.

CLASSY CRAWFORD

Tasmania import Crawford had to step up and lead from the front if the JackJumpers were to be any chance of tightening their grip on third, and the Cincinnati native did exactly that.

The dynamic point guard was everywhere.

While he shot at 46 per cent from the field, he drained six three-pointers from 10 attempts (60 per cent), drew eight fouls and busy on both ends of the court.

THE DAGGER

Cairns may have well of gifted the JackJumpers the result courtesy of an incredible Sean Macdonald dagger on three quarter time.

With 2.7 seconds left on the clock, Sam Waardenburg had a chance to finish the quarter with the last shot of the quarter, but inexplicably stepped out of bounds as he released.

Up stepped Macdonald, who unleashed from a step inside the half to drain the three – and give the visitors a 10-point lead at the final change.

ON THE CHARGE

Will Magnay and Patrick Miller enjoyed a tense battle throughout the evening, but it almost came to head early in the third quarter.

With the JackJumpers in possession, Magnay unleashed a shoulder charge former dual international Sonny Billy Williams would’ve been proud of when he collided with Miller, sending the Taipans import to the floor.

The men exchanged plenty of words, and after a lengthy review Magnay was charged an offensive foul.

Magnay left the court with three minutes left after a collision with McCall, who appeared to turn his body and collect the JackJumpers forward in the chest with his shoulder.

WHO’S HOUSE?

The JackJumpers brass might consider popping the logo on the side of the Cairns Convention Centre given their dominance at the venue.

Tasmania have now not only won their last five against the Taipans, but also recorded their fifth straight win at the Snakepit.

Originally published as NBL round 18: Jordon Crawford, Milton Doyle drive wounded Tasmania JackJumpers to victory