Adelaide 36ers trounce Taipans to keep NBL finals hopes alive

The Adelaide 36ers have continued their late-season form surge to remain in the finals race after thumping the Cairns Taipans 92-76 at the Adelaide Entertainment Centre.

After making light work of Brisbane on Saturday, the seventh-ranked Sixers put their foot down early against the bottom-placed Snakes on Tuesday night with a 10-1 start which they turned into an irresistible 27-9 quarter-time buffer.

The Taipans never recovered.

Import Brandon Paul (18 points, 10 rebounds) and Daniel Johnson (15, 10) were constant threats as Josh Giddey (15 points, six assists) came alive after half-time, with sixth man Tony Crocker (15) providing instant offence off the bench.

"We were on the front foot offensively at the start of the game and we played a lot of easy basketball," Adelaide coach Conner Henry said.

"It doesn't cause you to work as hard when the ball is moving and popping around.

"We had some good contributions from everybody."

Paul's four-point play early put Cairns on the back foot, as did Crocker's eight-point flurry inside six minutes and a whopping 20 first-term rebounds to the home side.

The visitors reduced the deficit to 13 points early in the second but it was as close as they would get for the remainder of the match as Adelaide stayed in front 46-30 at half-time despite an indifferent second stanza.

Giddey rattled off nine points inside three minutes in the third and engaged in a brief exchange with big Nathan Jawai as the 36ers assumed complete control, ahead 69-47 at three-quarter-time.

The buffer swelled to 24 points in the fourth before Majok Deng (16 points) and Jordan Ngatai (12, all in the second half) minimised some of the damage.

Deng's return after missing 16 games with a knee injury was a positive but Scott Machado (eight points at 18 per cent) endured a forgettable night, suffocated by Sixers defensive stopper Sunday Dech.

"Adelaide came out strong and dominated us in the first quarter, setting the tone," Taipans coach Mike Kelly said.

"Through the last three quarters we put up some fight and had some good resistance but it was overshadowed by getting down by so much in the first quarter."