Basketball: Breakers overpower Adelaide

Chris Warren of the 36ers runs with the ball. Photo / Getty Images
Chris Warren of the 36ers runs with the ball. Photo / Getty Images

Breakers 86
Adelaide 73

New Zealand forward Gary Wilkinson starred for the Breakers who overpowered their hosts Adelaide 86-73 in the NBL.

The league-leading Breakers struggled to crack the tough 36ers defence early but Wilkinson eventually unlocked the home side, top-scoring with 30 points.

Fellow import Cedric Jackson (11 points, 9 assists, 8 rebounds) flirted with a triple-double, while young centre Alex Pledger had 13 points and seven rebounds in just 15 minutes.

Big man Daniel Johnson was the 36ers best with 17 points, while imports Chris Warren and Diamon Simpson both scored 16.

Warren was at his elusive best in the opening minutes, sinking two three-pointers as the 36ers raced to a 10-point lead over the sluggish Breakers.

Wilkinson responded with some sublime shooting of his own, and with the hard-working Jackson and Pledger also getting busy, the visitors trailed 27-23 at the first break.

The second period was a defensive affair until Wilkinson imposed himself on the game, at one point drawing gasps from the crowd with a superb fall-away basket.

But with Warren and Johnson in fine touch, the 36ers continued to match the more-fancied Breaker offence, taking a 45-44 lead into the main break.

Early in the third term, 36ers guard Nathan Crosswell fell awkwardly and the game was stopped while two team-mates helped him off the court. The Breakers seemed to sense their moment, slamming home 12 points without reply.

Sixers forward Stephen Weigh suddenly came to life with some classy finishing inside to keep the home side within a point going into the deciding quarter.

Jackson notched a three-pointer from out wide as the Breakers quickly moved 10 points ahead in the final term, and some pinpoint long-range shooting from Wilkinson saw off the 36ers challenge.

- AAP

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