By RENALDO DORSETT
Tribune Sports Reporter
A DEFENSIVE struggle and a lopsided win highlighted NPBA finals action Monday night as both top seeds took 2-0 leads in their respective series.
Giants - 76
Rockets - 68
D'Shon Taylor powered the Giants game two win with 25 points and 14 rebounds, both game highs. Tehran Cox scored 16, Michael Bain Jr added 11 points and 8 rebounds and Gamaliel Rose scored eight.
Livingston Munnings led the Rockets with 20 points and 13 rebounds, Lerecus Armbrister scored 13 while Eugene Bain and Rashad Saunders each added eight.
Neither team had an efficient night shooting from the field. The Giants shot 32 per cent (16 from beyond the arch) while the Rockets shot just 27 per cent (19 from beyond the arch). Both teams were even from the free throw line with 20 made shots, 22 points off the bench and just a two-point advantage for the Giants on points in the paint.
The Giants took an early 10-2 lead in the first quarter, but the Rockets responded with a 12-1 run to take control. Jeffrey Henfield's late jumper at the end of the first ended the run, but the Rockets took a 16-13 lead at the end of the first.
The Giants' 10-point lead was the biggest of the second quarter when Taylor put them up 29-19 with his free throws at the 5:28 mark. Again the Rockets would respond to the deficit with a run of their own and a 16-2 spurt gave them a 35-31 lead with 1:28 left in the half.
Cox added a late three for the Giants but they still trailed 38-36 at the half. The third quarter had five ties before the Rockets ended the period on a 7-3 run and a Selwyn McKenzie jumper gave them a 58-54 lead headed into the fourth. The Rockets were limited to just 10 points in the fourth quarter and were outscored by 12 en route to the loss. Taylor's layup gave the Giants a 65-64 lead. Taylor added a pair of free throws, Bain scored four and the Giants went up seven with just over two minutes left in regulation.
Breezes High Flyers - 93
Aliv Bucket Team - 77
The combination of Jeremy Neely and Dave Davis were again too much for the Bucket team to overcome in game two.
The duo both posted their second 20-10 double doubles in as many outings.
Davis finished with 22 points and 18 rebounds, Neely scored 23 with 10 rebounds and Shanton Pratt scored 22.
Rashad Ingraham led the Bucket Team with a game high 29 points and 10 rebounds, Dylan Musgrove had 16 points and 10 rebounds and Akeil Bullard scored 14.
It was another dominant performance in the paint for the Flyers with a 14-point advantage. They scored seven more points off turnovers and they won the battle between the benches 16-6.
Aliv began the game on a 12-2 run capped by Bullard's layup. Breezes went on a run of their own and took an 18-14 lead on a Neely layup with 2:03 left.
James Rolle ended the run for Aliv, but Breezes led 21-19 at the end of one. The Bucket Team led 35-32 with 3:19 left in the half on a pair of Musgrove free throws, but the Flyers ended the period on another 12-2 run.
Devonte Gibson scored on a layup followed by a Neely jumper to take the lead for good.
Enrico Bethel and Pratt would add scores and the High Flyers took a 44-37 lead at the half. Aliv trimmed the deficit to three at one point, but the defending champions managed to take a 63-56 lead into the fourth. Breezes had their highest scoring period in the fourth when they outscored Aliv 30-21.