It wasn’t hard for Cairns coach Mike Kelly to pinpoint where it all went wrong the last time his Taipans outfit took on the Illawarra Hawks.
The round two stoush earlier this season saw Illawarra break Cairns’ streak of 17 wins in their opening home game of the campaign.
The Taipans had led at the break, but fell asleep defensively in the second half to allow the Hawks to storm to a comfortable 104-93 victory in North Queensland.
"We just didn't seem to bring another energy defensively as we need to play an NBL team like Illawarra," Kelly said on the night.
"They ran riot offensively and we scored, but when that dried up a bit, they kept doing their thing and it ended up in that result."
The loss proved to be the first defeat in a disappointing eight game losing streak for the Taipans.
Cairns had won impressively on the road in round one, but have since slipped to the foot of the ladder with an 1-8 record heading into their clash with the Illawarra on Friday night.