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Belief high in NBL road warriors Taipans

A sign in Cairns' dressing room will ensure the underdog Taipans don't get ahead of themselves after a fifth road win from six trips to begin the NBL season.

Cairns beat Brisbane 90-82 on Saturday night, a 14-point run inside two minutes to finish the third quarter the difference in a see-sawing contest at a packed Nissan Arena.

Centre Keanu Pinder (game-high 25 points, eight rebounds, four assists) continued his fine season with 15 final-quarter points when the game was on the line.

He outpointed NBA champion and Olympian Aron Baynes (eight points, 11 rebounds) in the process, the Taipans' offence functioning despite shooting 26 per cent from long range.

It pushed Cairns to 6-3 and at the pointy end of the ladder, while Brisbane's loss (3-6) snapped a three-game winning streak and kept them on the outer of a crowded chasing pack.

"We ride on our confidence in the day-to-day," Forde said.

"There's sign in our changeroom that says, 'No-one gives a f*** what you did yesterday'.

"And it's true; we enjoy it, then we prepare for New Zealand (in Cairns on Friday)."

For similar reasons the former Wildcats assistant won't be distracted by his old team's struggles, nor Melbourne United or Adelaide 36ers both axing imports already this season.

"I don't care what anyone else is doing; everyone's making a change, imports? I couldn't care less," he said.

"In the off-season I had extreme confidence. We didn't just throw a dart at the board (for recruitment) ... I walk in and go, 'This is the team I wanted'.

"But there was a part of the preseason where everybody was picking us to be last and I was like, 'What is it they know that I don't?'."

DJ Mitchell (21 points, eight rebounds) fired Brisbane to within a point of Cairns in the final quarter and had a three-pointer rim out that would have handed them the lead with three minutes to play.

Bullets coach James Duncan lamented systematic breakdowns and eight first-quarter turnovers after a costly loss.

"When we had momentum, they grabbed the momentum back," he said.

"The effort by the boys enabled us to come back all those different times. Very good.

"But our execution of the game plan ... I would say in the situation, was a C-minus.

"We've got to improve ... we missed out on a great opportunity tonight to vault ourselves up into the middle of the park.''