Basketball: Breakers blown out by Sydney

By Kris Shannon

The Breakers reflect on their loss after the game Saturday night. Photo / NZ Herald
The Breakers reflect on their loss after the game Saturday night. Photo / NZ Herald

Sydney 75
Breakers 62

Having dominated the Australian NBL for the last two-plus seasons, the Breakers could be forgiven for seeking out their own challenges.

But spotting Sydney a 15-point lead in Homebush last night was one challenge the defending champions couldn't overcome, with the Kings going on to win 75-62 and claim their first victory over the Breakers in eight games.

It was the Breakers' third loss of the campaign, and their first to a team not named Perth, dropping their league-leading record to 8-3.

The Breakers never recovered from a horror first quarter in which their handling was sloppy, their defence lethargic and their shooting wayward.

They fought back on a couple of occasions but never got within five as Sydney (8-5) played with impressive composure down the stretch.

Ben Madgen, who poured in 30 points in Sydney's round-five loss to the Breakers, recovered from a dislocated shoulder to start but it was Corin Henry who did most of the damage.

The American guard scored 29 points and outshone Cedric Jackson who, coming off a triple-double which earned him player of the week honours, never threatened to replicate last week's output.

The two sides came into the game ranked in the top two in scoring, but only Sydney demonstrated their pedigree as the Breakers took more than two minutes to get off the mark.

As the Breakers' shooting reverted back to early-season form, the Kings continued to build on their advantage and held a 24-11 lead at the first break.

The Breakers didn't manage many defensive stops in the first quarter but they stepped up their intensity in the second. There were few improvements in their shooting, though, as the Kings' lead grew to 16.

But a couple of three-pointers from CJ Bruton, one from well beyond the arc, reduced the deficit to single figures and saw Sydney take 39-31 lead into halftime.

The break appeared to squash the Breakers' momentum, and they began the second half as flat as they started the first. The Kings came out with a 12-3 run to extend their advantage to a game-high 17 points and, for the first time, worry would have crept into Andrej Lemanis' huddle.

Like he did in the second quarter Bruton brought the Breakers back into the contest, and his third three capped a 10-0 run to see the visitors pull within five heading into the final quarter.

But the Breakers' attempted comeback was again halted as Sydney streaked away and closed out the contest with ease.


Sydney 75 (Henry 29, Madgen 13, Crosswhite 12)

Breakers 62 (Bruton 18, Webster 11, Jackson 9)

HT: 39-31

- APNZ

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