Breakers 107
Kings 96

The team play of the Breakers outshone the individual efforts of Josh Childress as the Kiwi club grabbed their fifth straight win tonight.

The Breakers (9-3) looked in the first half to be soaking up the displays of Sydney's (4-5) star man as much as the Vector Arena crowd, but the home side enjoyed their best offensive performance of the season to emerge triumphant.

Much of the game was a shootout and Sydney would have seen enough encouragement to take confidence into next weekend's rematch across the ditch. But, having survived what Childress threw at them, the Breakers were guided across the line by their own outstanding import.


Cedric Jackson had 13 points in the fourth quarter alone but that was only part of his contribution. He was rebounding the ball, setting up teammates and showing exactly how to close out a tight game.

"In the fourth quarter we put the ball in Ced's hands and he was outstanding," said Breakers coach Dean Vickerman. "Sometimes the game's pretty simple, when you've got someone who you can space out and let him go and make great decisions."

The American finished with 21 points, eight boards and eight assists, flourishing, as he so often does, when a compatriot arrives with the intention of stealing the limelight.

Childress did show just why he has played almost 400 games in the NBA - grabbing 24 points, nine rebounds and five assists - but the Breakers avoided being torched by an MVP favourite who has sometimes seemed a man against boys in this league.

But the game was much more than the battle of the imports. The Breakers put an impressive seven players into double figures on a night when the offence perhaps sensed a need to account for defensive frailty, shooting a spectacular 15-of-29 from beyond the arc.

"Any time you score 107 when no one getting 30, it's pretty nice to see the spread there," Vickerman said.

Reuben Te Rangi excelled starting in the place of an injured Tom Abercrombie, snatching a season-high 11 points to go with five rebounds. Back-court duo Corey Webster and Rhys Carter combined for 30, while Mika Vukona (14), Tai Wesley (14) and Ekene Ibekwe (12) more than made up for a quiet night from Alex Pledger.

The starting centre seemed to struggle with the persistent toe injury that has plagued his campaign and, seeing him emotional at the end of the game, there remain question marks over his availability for the rest of the season.


Pledger was unable to protect the rim in a first half in which Sydney too often had their own way in the paint, moving the ball well to unlock the home side's defence. The Kings led by four after the first quarter and, on the back of 17 first-half points from Childress, they maintained a slim advantage going into the major break.

The Breakers were more effective in defending Childress in the third, hassling and haranguing him whenever he found the ball in his hands. Duane Bailey, in particular, had a couple of nice moments on defence, while he and Te Rangi combined for a trio of triples on offence.

The pair's efforts saw the Breakers in front by nine heading into the final quarter and, courtesy of Jackson, that's where they stayed.

Breakers 107 (Jackson 21, Carter 16, Webster 14)
Kings 96 (Madgen 24, Childress 22, Garlepp 21)
HT: 53-55