Corey Webster said during the week he wanted to show Daryl Corletto just why he had succeeded the former Breaker as starting shooting guard.
Message received, loud and clear.
Webster had 17 points in the first half before finishing with a career-high 25 to lead the Breakers (8-3) to a big win over Corletto's Melbourne United (4-5) at Vector Arena tonight, a fourth straight victory for the Kiwi club.
A week after Melbourne set an ANBL record by making 22 three-pointers, Webster seemed inspired to beat the Australians at their own game, nailing six triples to continue his solid season.
"Corey's one guy who you don't want to get hot early," said Melbourne forward Mark Worthington. "We let him make the hoop look like a hula hoop."
Webster has shown admirable consistency during his first year in the starting five, handily providing the production needed from the shooting guard position. And his efforts helped the Breakers control the meeting with Melbourne from the second quarter onwards, ably restricting a side who scored 118 points a week ago.
The Breakers led by double figures for much of the game, easily won the rebounding battle and backed up their 10 steals from last Friday with a further 10 tonight.
Cedric Jackson had a couple of those as he supported his back-court mate's offensive outburst, with the American scoring 14 and chipping in with three three-pointers.
The absence of Tom Abercrombie was the only real negative as the Breakers remained in the top two on the ladder, with the swingman scratched from the game a quad injury that could keep him on the sidelines for up to four weeks. But Abercrombie's late withdrawal was forgotten as soon as Webster found the ball in his hands.
"When he knew Tommy was out he took a little bit more of the scoring burden on himself," said Breakers coach Dean Vickerman. "He knows there are areas where he can get better but, when you've got a man down, that's what you want from your lead scorer - to go ahead and really step up."
Webster had 11 of his side's first 13 points in the game, kicking things off with back-to-back threes. Melbourne knotted it at 19 by the end of the quarter but Webster picked up where he left off in the second as the Breakers embarked on a 10-0 run.
Jackson also came to the party in the second, making a trio of triples to score 11 points in the quarter and help the Breakers lead by 17 at the major break.
The home side were shooting 53 per cent from both the field and beyond the arc, combining the accuracy with a staunch defence that limited Melbourne's high-powered offence to only 35 points in the half.
And that defence became even more important after the break as the Breakers managed just two points in the first five minutes. The players were probably suffering unwanted flashbacks to last week, when a record-low three points arrived in the third, but Melbourne never reduced the deficit below double figures.
The gap stood at 10 heading into the final quarter and, despite a threatened revival from Melbourne, who moved within four with 30 seconds to play, the Breakers closed out their eighth win of a promising season.
Breakers 80 (Webster 25, Jackson 14, Ibekwe 11)
Melbourne 72 (McRae 24, Barlow 11, Kickert 9)