Mark Worthington of the Taipans shoots during the round 19 NBL match against the Adelaide 36ers.
Mark Worthington of the Taipans shoots during the round 19 NBL match against the Adelaide 36ers. Chris Hyde

Taipans all but seal playoffs spot

THE Cairns Taipans have one foot in the NBL finals while the Adelaide 36ers are limping to the post-season.

In true Taipans fashion, they trailed for much of Thursday night's contest against the 36ers but just found a way down the stretch to win 89-85.

The win lifts the Snakes to 14-13 on the season with a position in the playoffs looking increasing likely and the club could even dare of a top-two finish if other results fall their way.

The 36ers, already locked into first spot on the ladder, showed little interest in winning late in the final term with four of their five starters on the bench for much of the final five minutes.

League MVP favourite Jerome Randle barely played, neither did Most Improved Player candidate Nathan Sobey.

The Taipans trailed by double figures in the third term but cometh the hour, cometh the Gliddon.

Cairns captain Cameron Gliddon hit a huge three on the three-quarter-time buzzer to inch the Snakes closer again.

The hosts started the final term with a 12-2 run with two triples from the skipper, a three-point play from Travis Trice and buckets to Nnanna Egwu and Jarrad Weeks.

The final term was a quarter of runs as the two clubs traded blows, the Taipans first, the 36ers countered with bombs from Anthony Drmic and Majok Deng, before Trice and Gliddon landed a few more to seal the come from behind victory.

Trice, Gliddon, Mitch McCarron and Nnanna Egwu all scored in double figures in the victory while Drmic led the 36ers in scoring with 17.

The hosts again struggled with a full-court press defence.

The Taipans now travel to South Australia to again face the ladder-leaders on Saturday.

If they drop the return trip, the Snakes could still make the finals they are a chance but they do not want to finish in a four-way tie with Sydney, Melbourne and Perth come Sunday evening.

Fittingly, in what could be his last home game, Mark Worthington hit the first two shots of the evening.