TODAY |

Tall Blacks toppled by Japan and their powerhouse NBA rookie in World Cup warm-up

The Tall Blacks have been soundly beaten in their first World Cup warm-up against Japan thanks to the near unstoppable efforts of NBA rookie Rui Hachimura.

The Tall Blacks went down 99-89 in Chiba last night with Hachimura - the No. 9 pick in this year's NBA draft - dominating the game.

The future Washington Wizard tallied a game-high 35 points on an impressive shooting performance of 13-from-17, while adding five rebounds and three assists.

The best Kiwis on the court were Tai Webster with 18 points and seven assists and Isaac Fotu who finished with a double-double of 16 points and 10 rebounds. Corey Webster added 14 points, four rebounds and four steals.

The Tall Blacks got off to a horror start, allowing Japan to go on a 16-0 to start the game with an 18-2 lead and while the New Zealand side managed to get the match back to 49-43 by halftime, they never caught up.

But the big issue for the Tall Blacks all night was their three-point shooting which finished up at just 17 per cent with only six of their 35 attempts going in. It was contrasted by an impressive night inside the arc where they were 25 from 36.

The Tall Blacks will face off with Japan once more in Kawasaki on Wednesday night before heading to Australia to play Canada.

The Tall Blacks leave the court dejected after their 99-89 loss to Japan. Source: Getty


More From