The Hawks continue perfect NBL start after crushing Cairns Taipans

The Hawks have fired a warning shot to the rest of the NBL after crushing the Cairns Taipans 90-70 on Thursday night.

Last season's wooden spooners are suddenly the real deal after improving their record to 4-0 and inflicting yet another loss on 2020 semifinalists Cairns.

European league veteran Tyler Harvey dropped 21 points while Golden State Warriors' 2020 NBA second round draft pick Justinian Jessup added 19.

The foundation club are enjoying their best start to a campaign since 2013 after claiming four straight games in Queensland for the first time.

The Hawks -- who are creeping closer to their club record 7-0 season start set in 1987 -- have never missed the finals after beginning a campaign with three wins.

Remarkably the Hawks only managed five wins last year and finished the season with 10 straight losses.

Yet they now have teams looking over their shoulder in 2021 after six-time championship winning coach Brian Goorjian grabbed the reins in the off-season.

"We have something good happening here with our group, I am really proud of the team," Goorjian said.

Away from home since Boxing Day due to COVID-19 border restrictions, the Wollongong-based outfit next plays the South East Melbourne Phoenix in Victoria.

But Goorjian hoped to show off the Hawks juggernaut at home sooner rather than later with speculation rife that they might play their first home game in February.

"We are really excited to take this to the 'Gong and be the hottest ticket in town," Goorjian said.

Goorjian is throwing his weight behind the NBL restoring the team's original "Illawarra Hawks" name after the league stripped it when they awarded the license to a new ownership group in the off-season.

In another shot in the arm for the Hawks, marquee man Deng Adel (four points, four rebounds) made an encouraging return from a calf injury after missing two games in a 17 minute display in Cairns.

In contrast, alarm bells are ringing for the Taipans (1-4), who have lost four straight - all at home.

Cam Oliver (20 points, 11 rebounds) and fellow import Scott Machado (14 points, seven assists) couldn't stop Cairns suffering their biggest home defeat since Mike Kelly took over as coach in 2018.

"I thought we came out with great energy defensively but we could not get rolling offensively and were the first team to bend," Kelly said.

The Taipans are struggling to find a replacement for departed import D.J. Newbill and have now trailed on the scoreboard in 19 of 20 quarters this season.

Cairns started well but the Hawks went on a 13-0 run to lead at the first break and were never headed by their hosts.