Anytime teams register a basketball score it's logical to try to decipher what led to such a numerical calamity.

Is the yawning result a reflection of how good the victors' attack is or how bad the oppositions are at putting up the shutters.

That's what sprung to mind when Taylor Corporation Hawks walloped 2 Cheap Cars Supercity Rangers 113-86 in their Sal's Pizza National Basketball League encounter in Auckland tonight.

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The Jarrod Kenny-captained visitors won every quarter - 25-28, 22-31 (47-59), 12-27 (59-86) and 23-25 (86-113) - to retain the 50 per cent win/loss ratio for a 7-7 record in their quest to make the Final Four early next month.

It also was a resounding statement from the Zico Coronel-coached side's lacklustre 93-84 win over the Jeff Green-coached Rangers at the Pettigrew-Green Arena in Napier in the middle of last month.

On that account, one must give credit to the Hawks on both fronts - mounting relentless waves of attack in a fast-paced affair and, consequently, prompting the Dillon Boucher-skippered Rangers into losing their shape in defence.

Tonight swingmen Dion Prewster and Ethan Rusbatch spearheaded the statistical department for the Hawks with a game-high 25 points, eight assists, five rebounds and 23 points, respectively.

At the Pettigrew-Green Arena, Taradale, Green had alluded to the importance of a big man in any team and, obviously, what Australian import centre Angus Brandt brought to the Hawks' equation.

Tonight the Boomer, back from a tumultuous stint with the Australia team against the Philippines on Monday, lent credence to Green's assertion with 17 points and eight rebounds, just shy of his rash of double-doubles for his first NBL franchise team.

The bench boys joined the party with Hyrum Harris scoring 14 points and Mitchell Newton adding 11 points and claiming eight rebounds.

Hawks swingman Dion Prewster tells Rangers point guard Lindsay Tait to talk to his hands at the Trusts Arena, Auckland, tonight. Photo/Photosport
Hawks swingman Dion Prewster tells Rangers point guard Lindsay Tait to talk to his hands at the Trusts Arena, Auckland, tonight. Photo/Photosport

It was timely declaration of the Hawks' depth, especially in a season that has kept fans guessing on how solid their campaign has been this year.

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With four out of five remaining games at the PG Arena, the Hawks leapfrogged the fourth-placed Wheeler Motor Canterbury Rams who have hit a turbulent patch of three consecutive losses.

The Rams, who lost 91-102 to Mike Pero Nelson Giants at Cowles Stadium, Christchurch tonight, play the Hawks in a 7pm tip off at the PG Arena on Thursday next week.

They will then host the Hawks on Friday, July 27, in the latter's penultimate round-robin match of the season.

While the Hawks will play their remaining matches against the Rangers, Go Media Manawatu Jets and the Augusta Taranaki Mountainairs, the Rams and Giants have to face the likes of defending champions Cigna Saints and title contenders SIT Zerofees Southland Sharks on the road to securing playoff berths.

Tonight, Coronel didn't use any Hawks players for more than 28 minutes and, conspicuously, American import power forward Jamie Skeen and point guard Kenny didn't have to break into a sweat as such.

He said while a fast-tempo game resulted in high-scoring affairs, he revealed it also was a testament to his troops' hard work in training this season to build and execute "good habits".

"They came to the fore so that's quite pleasing. They also learned a little more from their game against them the last time," Coronel said, satisfied the Hawks had been prepared for any other strategies the Rangers had intended to employ.

He felt a top four placing at this juncture of the season didn't matter until 18 games of the season had been dusted.

"The boys played really well but it doesn't really count for much if we don't pick it up on Thursday."

Coronel felt a handsome lead into halftime had offered him the licence to go to his bench to distribute minutes on the court, especially after players were coming off a week's layoff due to the international Fiba World Cup-qualifying window.

For the Rangers, Dominique Kelman-Poto and Marcel Jones claimed double-doubles with 19 points, 10 rebounds and 17 points, 10 rebounds, respectively.

Rangers player Clayton Wilson goes for a basket as a teammate tries to shorten the wingspan of Hawks US import Jamie Skeen at the Trusts Arena, Auckland, tonight. Photo/Photosport
Rangers player Clayton Wilson goes for a basket as a teammate tries to shorten the wingspan of Hawks US import Jamie Skeen at the Trusts Arena, Auckland, tonight. Photo/Photosport

Clayton Wilson scored 16 and veteran point guard Lindsay Tait added 12 points and made eight assists.

That was in stark contrast to the Hawks who, one could argue, put the collective before individualism.

Coronel said double-doubles were arbitrary statistics where those who fell shy of them with upper-end, single-digit figures shouldn't be sniffed at.

He saw it more as fans having a partiality towards "round numbers".

Coronel, who is making his debut season as NBL head coach after 13 successful years as an NBL title-winning assistant, said the outcomes of the Rams and other front runners' games against other oppositions were not in hands of the Hawks.

"What's in out control is how well we play and prepare ... if we play well then we'll end up where we want to be and we won't be reliant on anyone else doing anything for us."

Other results:
At Cowles Stadium, Christchurch: Wheeler Motor Canterbury Rams 91 (Ray Cowells 19, Michael Karena 17, Winston Shepard III 15) Mike Pero Nelson Giants 102 (Finn Delany 30, Jerry Evans Jr 24, Kyle Adnam 18).


At Springvale Arena, Whanganui: Go Media Manawatu Jets 93 (Kuran Iverson 30, Daishon Knight 30, Troy Temara 14) Cigna Saints 113 (LJ Peak 38, Shea Ili 23, Leon Henry 18).