For the Breakers every game is do or die in this tougher than ever eight team league and the race to the final four. With the Breakers having three fourth quarter collapses this season losing games they had double digit leads. It can be hard to see, but they as a team are actually looking the best all season going in today’s game against Brisbane.
Shawn Long has been Dominating the last ten games and stuffing the stat sheet in and outside the paint. Jarrad Weeks being an absolute firecracker off the bench not to mention Patrick Richard breaking Breakers records not missing a single three point shot hitting 6/6. For an NBL team with the shortest pre-season it is no surprise the Breakers now have some momentum, chemistry and offence.
It is one stat that stands out and it will take keeping the defence pressure in the second half on the throats of the teams they play. But there is a window and a very small chance they can make finals and it really does depend if they can defend and keep tea,s under 90. Because scoring is not what the Breakers have any trouble in recent weeks getting up over 100 and Burger King wishing they made it “If it gets to 90, free junior whoppers” one hundred.
Skycity Breakers NZ vs Brisbane Bullets
Sunday 2:20pm NZ (12:20pm AU)
Spark Arena: Auckland
By: Leon Taylor – Basketball Yeti
First Quarter Highlights: Tai Wesley first to score for the Breakers before Tom Abercrombie fancy footwork and finger roll. Corey Webster fouled getting to the basket hits 2/2. Defence has to be on for the win today and both Coaches know it. Tom runs the baseline and dunks Breakers 8-4 Bullets 6:36. Slow to start both teams highly contesting shots. Shea Ili off load in transition and Shawn Longs first dunk for the game. Brisbane finding it hard to score in the opening 5 mins with Mika Vukona found open under the basket and usually is a dunk but Shawn Long made sure it was a block and Brisbane call timeout. Mika Vukona fouled hard by Tom Abercrombie that has to sit down on two fouls and Mika hits 1/2.
Brisbane try two man defensive effort on Long but hits the layup. Corey assist to Shawn Long three and the Breakers go up ten with just under four to play. Jarrad Weeks fouled hits two for two. Mika Vukona found open with a bullet pass to the other end and open…….. but Armani Moore with a huge block on the ex Breaker. Armani next play down the other end in under 8 seconds is fouled and hits 2/2. Solid ball movement and Patrick Richard hits a step back three. Adam Gibson quick reply for the visitors Breakers 24-12 Bullets 1:38. Closing quarters has been a weak point for the Breakers this season and manage to slow the Brisbane 6-2 run to close out.
Breakers 26-18 Bullets
Second Quarter Highlights: The Breakers open with an 8-0 run finished with a Jarrad Weeks left open three before Bullets call a time out just 90 seconds in to the second. Brisbane come out of the timeout and Lamar Patterson gets a quick few possession and four points followed by a three pointer from Ruben TeRangi and Breakers call a timeout. Shawn Long dunk of Tai Wesley alleyoop and Ruben TeRangi works hard under the basket gets the hook for two.
Lamar Patterson with the floater tidy floater in the lane for the Bullets. Armani Moore in the corner with the three and it is going back and forth with scoring. Lamar Patterson drives and is fouled by Tai Wesley and converts the and one. Bullets using half-court press to add pressure on the Breakers and it is helping close the gap to 7 Breakers 45-38 Bullets 4:43. Tom Abercrombie layup fouled hits and one but Brisbane quick to reply. Armani Moore drives off the inbounds and converts off the euro step. Both teams getting called for fouls and in the bonus for the final 90 seconds and Brisbane close out well
Breakers 56-51 Bullets
Third Quarter Highlights: Brisbane start scoring with a 4-0 run. Shawn Long hits a three from the top of the key as he continues to show his skill set. Low scoring opening four minutes but Brisbane are showing some momentum and tie it up at 61. Technical fouls called on both Finn and Weeks as tempers start to flair. Lamar Patterson hits a tough three and it’s tied up at 68. Finn Delany gets momentum to the basket is fouled and misses the and one. Lamar Patterson again carving up the Breakers on 18 points and bringing the offence Brisbane need.
Adam Gibson three and Brisbane lead for the first time as the crowd lets out a sigh before cheering the home team to regain the lead. Breakers move the ball and get it to Finn who is quick for another two. Finn Delany hits a three and back up by two. Lamar Patterson is fouled out ! He has been critical part of the Brisbane offensive play and will miss the final 13 minutes which could be critical. Finn Delany bringing the heat in the second finishes with a reverse layup is fouled and makes the and one. Breakers get three offensive rebounds to close out the final minute and last basket.
Breakers 79-73 Bullets
Fourth Quarter Highlights: Off to a quick start with Finn again finding the lane driving and finishes with a tidy layup and Brisbane call a timeout with just a couple of plays Breakers 83-75 Bullets 8:26. Bullets Matt Hodgson using his sizing getting inside and getting a quick 4 points. Jeremy Kendle hits a three at the buzzer for Brisbane and closes the gap to 4. Patrick Richard with the stop and pop and Brisbane quick to reply. Mika and Shawn meet in the paint and Vukona comes off second best and does not look good for Mika as he is helped off the court. Brisbanes Cameron Gliddon hits a three and the gap is closed to one. Finn Delany goes inside gets the basket and one scoring all 17 points in the second half. Patrick Richard three and it puts Breakers up seven with 4:50 to play.
Good ball movement finds Shea Ili open and hits a three Breakers 97-89 Brisbane 4:04. Jarrad Weeks found under the basket off a turnover and gets the layup. Jason Cadee gets the floater followed by a three from Cameron Gliddon and Brisbane look to gain Momentum Breakers 99-94 Brisbane 2:45. Shea to Finn to Shawn contested layup and Breakers up 9. Shawn Long with another alleyoop dunk felt by most of Auckland. Jarrad Weeks drains the clock off loads to Shawn Long Breakers do a fantastic job of closing out the game.
Fulltime: Breakers 109-96 Bullets
A great performance from the Breakers tonight with energy and pace showing they can close out against great teams and the ones that stand in their way. It is a tough road for the Breakers and playing opportunities are not off the cards just yet if the Breakers win 4 of the next 5. There is a possibility they can make it in one of the tightest years in the league. Ahead of them is last seasons champions Melbourne United playing Friday at Spark Arena before playing Sunday in Melbourne.
Patrick Richard – First NBL double double
Breakers Post Game Interview: