Hawks fly too high for Bullets in NBL

Dec 31, 2017 - 6:39 AM The Illawarra Hawks will head into the New Year on a three-game winning streak after a crushing 104-82 defeat of the Brisbane Bullets in Wollongong.

Starring for the Hawks were Americans Demitrius Conger (24 points, eight rebounds, eight assists, three steals) and Rotnei Clarke (21 points), while Australian Boomers forward Nick Kay (16 points, four steals) also stood out.

Leading at every change on Sunday, the Hawks ruined Brisbane guard Travis Trice's impressive 32-point performance and improved their own win-loss record to 8-9.

"It's all about tempo for us and racking up as many points as we can," Illawarra coach Rob Beveridge said.

"The way we got up and down tonight is the way we want to play. For us to be successful, we have to play a confident style of game."

Meech (Conger) is a special player, and what makes him even better is his work ethic. He was in the gym at eight o'clock last night working on his shooting."

The Bullets have lost all three meetings with the Hawks by big margins.

They dropped to 7-10 on the ladder and are fighting an uphill battle to stay in finals contention.

Brisbane coach Andrej Lemanis was forced to make a late line-up change with star import Perrin Buford succumbing to an ankle injury.

"It's a stock-standard rolled ankle, and hopefully he's right for the next game," Lemanis said.

"Like any team, when you take out your leading scorer it's going to affect your rhythm and your substitution patterns.

"This match-up against this team hasn't worked well for us. They like to fire it up and play a fast pace and we got caught up in that."

The Bullets were out of sync early, falling behind 32-24 at quarter-time, despite Trice's 11 points.

Illawarra stretched the margin to 12 early in the second period, but Trice boosted his tally to 24 to cut the home team's lead to 54-50 at half-time.

The Hawks regained the momentum after the break, building an 81-72 lead heading into the final quarter.

They swiftly blew the margin out and were never threatened down the stretch.

The Bullets' next game is against the Taipans in Cairns on Friday, while Illawarra host Melbourne on Saturday.

Source: AAP

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