NBL: Adelaide 36ers topple Taipans in Cairns

Nathan Sobey has run hot against his former side to lead Adelaide to NBL victory in Cairns.

The 36ers guard scored 22 points, pulled in 13 rebounds and dished off nine assists in the 91-83 win over the Taipans at the Cairns Convention Centre.

The Taipans led on and off but struggled to close out both halves.

Both sides were missing key US imports, in particular Adelaide's Ramone Moore and Taipans star DJ Newbill sidelined with injury.

Moore is expected to miss at least two weeks with a calf strain, while Newbill (shoulder) could be available for Cairns' clash with the Sydney Kings on Sunday.

Sobey said it was just a coincidence he had a good record in Cairns, saying he had no extra motivation when playing against his former club.

"I just try and play hard every time I am out there," he said.

"I've played some good games up here but that's just the way it goes."

The 36ers' coach Joey Wright said it was an important win.

"Any time you win on the road it's a good win," he said.

"I thought we turned the ball over too much early so it was nice to turn it around."

Adelaide has a gruelling travel schedule on Saturday that involves flights from Cairns to Sydney before a trans-Tasman trip to New Zealand.

"I think we have a 12-hour trip to New Zealand. We don't get in until 12 or one (12am or 1am) at night."

Veteran Taipans big man Nate Jawai showed he's still got what it takes, scoring 11 and collecting nine rebounds for the home side.

"I thought we gave him too many point blank lay-ups. He's a big boy and he's going to finish strong around the rim and he did," Wright said.

"We needed to fight him for space a little bit better. He got them going a little bit."

Jawai, who was selected in the Boomers squad on Friday, had support from Dexter Kernich-Drew (17 points).

Taipans import Melo Trimble (10) was kept relatively quiet after firing in the opening two rounds.

After a lacklustre first quarter, the 36ers found their range bit by bit as the game went on.

Jacob Wiley (18), Daniel Johnson (17) and Anthony Drmic (15) were all influential.