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Taipans down 36ers to enter NBL finals mix

A blistering opening quarter paved the way for the Cairns Taipans to return to the NBL finals mix after dispatching the Adelaide 36ers by eight points on Sunday.

Christmas came early for Snakes fans as they watched their team put on 31 points in the first term to lead by 14 at the first break, marching towards a 94-86 victory at the Cairns Convention Centre.

Adelaide had no answers for the Taipans' range from the perimeter.

Cairns put home 13 three-pointers for the match, including five in the opening quarter.

It was the home side's ball movement which paved the way for their 13-point half-time lead.

The Taipans had 19 assists at the main break, with Scott Machado leading the way with nine.

The guard ended up with 13 dimes for the match to be the star of the show, despite the fact he only scored three points of his own.

Mirko Djeric made the most of his opportunity as a starter, sinking 15 points, including three from long range.

Cam Oliver had another double-double with 21 points and 15 rebounds. His highlight reel continues to grow with each game.

Cairns co-captain DJ Newbill also had a night out with 26 points, including four from the perimeter, as well as five assists and four rebounds.

Adelaide struggled to find a winner on the court.

Star import Jerome Randle fought back after a slow opening half to finish with 19 points, while Obiri Kyei (15 points, six rebounds) and Daniel Johnson (15 points) also played well in patches.

The 36ers managed to reduce the margin to nine points at three-quarter time to put the Snakes fans on the edge of their seats, but the Orange Army was able to enjoy a stress-free final finish to the match.

The win elevated Cairns to fourth position, leapfrogging the Adelaide 36ers and South East Melbourne Phoenix.