Bullets bounce back to beat Phoenix in NBL

The Brisbane Bullets ended a three-game NBL losing streak with a crucial 94-82 away win over a disappointing South East Melbourne Phoenix.

Brisbane coach ANDREJ LEMANIS.
Brisbane coach ANDREJ LEMANIS. Picture: Darrian Traynor/Getty Images

The Brisbane Bullets have revived their hopes of challenging for an NBL semi-final berth after recording a vital 94-82 road win over South East Melbourne Phoenix.

Facing their seventh straight away game after having last Sunday's home clash with the Phoenix postponed due to the COVID-19 lockdown in Western Australia, the Bullets controlled Thursday's contest at John Cain Arena to snap a three-game losing slide.

Currently in sixth spot on the ladder, Brisbane (11-13) sit three wins behind the fourth-placed Phoenix (14-13) to set up a thrilling race for the playoffs with the two teams facing each other three more times in the final five rounds.

Brisbane failed to capitalise on a poor start from South East Melbourne as they could only build a narrow 36-34 lead at the main break despite a 16-point effort from import Lamar Patterson.

But after Kyle Adnam's three-pointer put the Phoenix in front at the start of the third quarter, the Bullets caught fire from long distance with seven triples as they poured in 33 points for the term to set up a match-winning lead.

"There was an overall commitment and unity in our group today and we did a good job in that situation of not being panicked," Bullets coach Andrej Lemanis said about his side's response after giving up the lead in the second half.

Patterson (27 points, seven rebounds) showed he is starting to rediscover the form that saw him earn two All-NBL First Team honours during his initial stint at the Bullets while Nathan Sobey (20 points, eight assists and six rebounds) produced another high-quality performance.

South East Melbourne made just five of their 23 shot attempts in the opening quarter, including 11 misses in a row, and wasted numerous second-chance opportunities to see Brisbane grab a 22-15 advantage.

The night went from bad to worse for the Phoenix when Ryan Broekhoff left the game in the second period after copping an accidental elbow to the head from Sobey.

Broekhoff was later taken to hospital after reporting blurred vision with the Phoenix hoping the sharpshooting forward will be available for the May 8 derby clash against Melbourne United.

Ben Moore (18 points) and Cam Gliddon (17) kept the scoreboard ticking over for the Phoenix but coach Simon Mitchell lamented his squad's inability to contain the ball as Brisbane drilled a series of wide-open three-pointers as part of their third-quarter barrage.

"They made us pay and that's what we needed to do earlier in the game when we were getting good looks - we didn't knock them down and they did," Mitchell said as South East Melbourne slumped to their fourth loss in five outings.