Bullets take down Taipans in home opener

The Brisbane Bullets picked up their first win of the year in their first home game as they took down rivals Cairns Taipans 83- 78 behind a big game from big man Tom Jervis.

Jervis fouled out after only playing 19 minutes in the game, but his impact was felt early and often for the Bullets. Brisbane came out from the opening tip looking to establish Jervis inside and he rewarded them by scoring the first 4 points of the game, and 6 of the Bullets first 11 points in the game.

Jervis finished the night with a +21 while totalling 18 points, 8 rebounds and a blocked shot. He didn't do it alone though as import Perrin Buford had his best game to date in a Bullets uniform.

Buford threw down a handful of highlight reel dunks similar to the one we saw him put on the Phoenix Suns last week while also playing some stellar defense including a few huge blocks to deny the Taipans. Buford finished with 17 points, 6 rebounds and 3 blocked shots while shooting 63.6% from the field.

Coach Andrej Lemanis praised Buford's versatility on both ends of the court, highlighting the fact that Buford was able to guard 1 through 5, starting the game checking Cairns point guard Scoochie Smith while also guarding Cam Gliddon, Alex Loughton and Stephen Weigh among others throughout the course of the game.

As a team, the Bullets shot 47.6% from the field, but struggled from deep, hitting on only 3 of 17 attempts. They did get to the free throw and capitalised when there, hitting 20 of 22 attempts from the charity stripe. Coach Lemanis was also pleased with the fact that his troops assisted on 20 of 30 made buckets, showing that they are playing for each other.

Brisbane also did a solid job defensively, holding the Taipans to 40.0% shooting from the field and 30.0% from three. Cairns did win the battle on the boards, out-rebounding Brisbane 37 - 34 while grabbing 14 offensive rebounds.

Taipans forward Alex Loughton suited up for his 200th game in a Cairns jersey and celebrated the milestone by top scoring along with Scoochie Smith, with 15 points each.

Next up for the Bullets is a trip down to Illawarra to take on the Hawks on Sunday while Cairns heads home to battle the defending champion Perth Wildcats on Sunday as well.