Ray Cowels III takes the ball to the hoop during the Nelson Giants last home game, against the Southland Sharks last month Photo: Barry Whitnall/Shuttersport.

Live Blog: NBL Nelson Giants v Southland Sharks

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Welcome everyone to Nelson Live’s live blog of the Mike Pero Nelson Giants and the Southland Sharks at Nelson’s Trafalgar Centre.

Giants coach Tim Fanning called this clash a must win if his team want to make the top four and tonight it’s four versus five on the competition table.

The Giants beat the Sharks in Invercargill and the Sharks returned the favour last month in Nelson so this is a big game three.

9.01pm The Sharks win this one and take a big step towards the semis with victory over the Giants 91-85

8.59pm Last rights here 86-79 Sharks lead

8.53pm Sharks have this one in the bag they lead 83-76 under a minute to go.

8.50pm Sharks lead by seven now with a minute to go. Credit to them for the comeback it’s been huge.

8.47pm Nick Kay with the dunk! Big lay from the Sharks and he was fouled! 79-74 Sharks

8.46pm Sharks in front 76-74 Giants need a bucket

8.45pm Sharks lead again 75-74 under three to play

8.44pm Sharks have the ball and are winning the rebound battle 74-73

8.43pm Pledger’s hands let him down. Big possession which the Giants give right back 74-71

8.40pm Sam Dempster gets a bucket then draws the charge! Big time play from the captain 74-71

8.39pm Bartlett cuts the Giants lead 72-71

8.37pm Still seven minutes to go but this team has a feel of going to overtime. 72-69 Time out Southland

8.36pm Bartlett with a big three for the Sharks 72-69

8.35pm Giants lead by six. great atmosphere here, Both teams know the importance of this one 72-66

8.33pm Pledger responds and Cowels getting dirty in the paint 72-64

8.32pm Ray Cowels gets the first bucket of the final quarter with a pretty spin move 70-62

8.30pm A late eight oint unanswered run there could be crucial for the Giants 68-62

8.29pm Jarrod Kenny gets a layup in the last second for a 68-62 three quarter time lead!

8.27pm Bronson Beri with three and the Giants have the lead 66-62

8.26pm Travel call on the Sharks and Flavell starts round three with the refs 62-61

8.25pm Cowels knocks down two free throws 62-61 Sharks lead

8.24pm Cohesion lost for the Giants. Three quarter slump 60-56

8.22pm Shot for shot here currently. Giants get slammed with a technical foul. 59-56

8.20pm Jones with two free throws ties it up at 54-54

8.18pm Ali Granger with a bg three for the hosts. Stops the rot but it’s all Sharks 54-52

8.16pm Hayden Allen for the Sharks gets three. Sharks lead 50-49. This is scary for the Giants

8.14pm The Sharks are fired up! and they close within two points 49-47

8.10pm Phill Jones with 3! Hayden Allen replies 49-44

8.09pm Dempster forgets how to dribble properly and the Sharks are to the line with Nick Kay 46-38

8.08pm Sharks start with a three! Ominous but Cowels responds in kind 46-36

8.07pm Second half coming up soon! Giants lead 43-33

7.53pm Jarrod Kenney running the show has not worked late in the half 43-33

7.52pm Awesome fightback from the Sharks who were down 23 midway through this quarter but they look set to cut it to 10. That Giants midgame slump strikes again it would seem.

7.50pm Giants have cooled off and Cowels has three fouls too which is a worry 43-30

7.47pm Cowels gets an offensive board and puts it back for two 43-26

7.45pm Pledger left inside and he dunks it, kind of ugly but its two points 41-26

7.44pm Giants have to finish this off strong and get to halftime with as big a lead as possible. They have switched off here in games in the past 44-24.

7.43pm Everard Bartlett with a much needed three for the Sharks 41-21 and Raukawa adds another three 41-24.

7.42pm Ben Strong hook shot gets two 41-18

7.40pm Jarrod Kenney gets two at the charity line, 23 point lead! 39-16

7.38pm The Sharks throw the ball to the corporate tables. It’s getting ugly. 37-16

7.37pm Sharks coach Judd Flavell looks like he’s simmering like a kettle waiting to boil. 37-16

7.33pm A 16-0 Giants run is ended by Pledgers free throws 37-16.

7.32pm 12-0 run to start the second quarter for the Giants 33-14.

7.30pm The Sharks have gone cold here! Giants over them since the first break 33-14

7.29pm Pledger gets an offensive board then throws the ball to his coach! 31-14

7.28pm Your typically fast start to a game from the Giants can they continue it into the third quarter? 29-14

7.27pm Sam Dempster with a big three on a fast pass from Cowels 27-14.

7.26pm Sharks call time out after two plays of the second quarter? Yup two plays and they need to chat it over again. Go figure. 24-14.

7.25pm Ali Granger starts the second quarter with a corner three! 24-14

7.22pm QUARTER TIME Giants lead 21-14. Jones has nine points, Dempster six

7.19pm Kenney and Jones have been good so far, they’ll need to keep doing it. 21-14

7.18pm Sharks try a little full court press but Dempster gets the bucket 21-14 nearing the end of the quarter

7.17pm Phill Jones bullies his way in the paint! Showing all the skills and a little physicality! 18-12

7.16pm Phill Jones with the hot hand! Loooooong three pointer is good! 16-12

7.15pm Pledger gets a simple bucket inside for the visitors. Grat manipulation of space. Phill Jones replies with three! 13-12 Giants

7.14pm shooters cold for both teams in the last couple of minutes. Sharks coaching staff laying into the officials.

7.13pm Jarrdo Kenney slapped with an offensive foul. 11-10

7.12pm Frantic speed here early Raukawa slides in for two and Duane Bailey adds another 11-10

7.11pm Sharks coach Judd Flavell wants a travel but Cowels goes to the free throw line and nails both 11-5

7.05pm Sam Dempster with a rare three pointer. Probably wondered what he was doing standing beyond the arc 9-5 Giants lead.

7.04pm Jarrod Kenney bumps and posts up for two 4-3

7.03pm Ben Strong with a nice jump shot after nick Kay opened the scoring for the visitors 2-2.

7.02pm Sharks win the tip

6.59pm Here’s the Sharks starting five: Everard Bartlett, Duane Bailey, Derone Raukawa, Nick Kay and Alex Pledger

6.58pm Here’s your Giants starting five: Jarrod Kenney, Samp Dempster, Ray Cowels III, Ben Strong and Phill Jones

 

6.50pm There will be no Finn Delany for the Giants tonight, The NZ Breaker was ruled out earlier this week with injury and his production both points and rebounds will be missed. It’s up to the bench and perhaps veteran Phill Jones to take more of the scoring responsibility.