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    Wellington gets past Auckland to reach New Zealand NBL finals

    Jul 22, 2021
    Ken Tuffin

    WELLINGTON made it to the 2021 New Zealand NBL Finals with a 99-73 rout of the Auckland Huskies Thursday at Te Rauparaha Arena in Porirua.

    Kerwin Roach Jr. got it going in the third quarter, firing 15 of his 24 points as the top-seed broke the game wide open with a 30-point outburst in the frame and turn a 50-44 halftime deficit to a commanding 74-58 edge.

    Roach went 10 for 14 from the field, including 3 for 4 from deep, to go with seven assists and four rebounds as Wellington earned the first ticket to the championship game.

    Tohi Smith-Milner led Wellington with 30 points and nine boards, as Season MVP Dion Prewster had a triple-double with his 14 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists.

    Ken Tuffin delivered nine points on 2-of-4 clip from deep, while also hauling down two boards, as Leon Henry had 11 points and seven rebounds off the bench.

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    Wellington Saints

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    The Saints shot 17-of-38 from downtown and their defense was also on point, holding the Huskies to just eight in the third period to grab 26-point advantages in the payoff period.

    Wellington faces the winner of the other semis matchup between second seed Hawke's Bay Hawks and No. 3 Southland Sharks.

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    Thomas Vodanovich paced Auckland with 33 points on 6-of-12 clip from downtown, along with seven rebounds.

    Zach Riley also had 17 points, five boards, and two dimes, while Dontae Nance had 10.

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