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Tigers climb to third on NBL ladder
Adrian Warren
21:26 AEST Sun Feb 10 2013

Melbourne's remarkable rise into NBL playoff contention has continued, with the Tigers zooming into third on the back of a road trip double.

The Tigers (10-10) followed up a 77-70 win over Wollongong (9-12) on Friday with an 84-71 win over Adelaide (6-16) on Sunday.

Melbourne have won eight of their last 11 games after losing their first three and languishing in the lower reaches of the ladder with a 2-7 record.

They trailed Adelaide 48-37 at halftime, but outscored the 36ers 47-23 in the second half.

"That second half was a hell of a half, I thought our guys stepped up their game at both ends of the floor," Tigers coach Chris Anstey said.

"That second half is good enough to be competitive with anyone."

The Tigers have also climbed above Sydney (10-12), who slumped to a sixth straight loss in a dramatic 96-94 overtime home loss to ladder-leading New Zealand (19-3).

Our guys have to continue to keep their head up and we have to continue to work hard, we'll start winning again," Sydney coach Shane Heal said.

Breakers' coach Andrej Lemanis relished the challenge his side faced in recording a tenth straight win.

"You start thinking about playoffs, to go through a game that had 22 lead changes and was tied 12 times and had big possessions right down to the buzzer and overtime period, we couldn't ask to go through a better situation than that right now," Lemanis said.

Townsville (8-12), who made an even more disastrous start to the season than Melbourne, are also making a late run at the playoffs.

The Crocs scored a double-overtime 111-108 double-overtime win over Queensland rival Cairns (6-13) to notch their eight victory from their last ten matches and move within two victories of a top four spot.

Peter Crawford scored 30 and Gary Ervin 28, as Townsville overturned a 13-point deficit.

"The momentum is there, we're extremely confident, but now we have to go on the road for four tough games in a row," Townsville coach Paul Woolpert told AAP.

"We do have confidence that we can beat any team.

"Obviously we're going to have to get on the road and be successful in order to make the playoffs."

The Crocs' next stop is second-placed Perth (15-5), who scored a 73-67 home win over Adelaide on Saturday.

Adelaide centre Daniel Johnson scored 22 against Perth and 20 against Melbourne.


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