New Zealand Breakers 87 Perth Wildcats 86

Just when it looked like the rivalry was becoming a bit predictable, a last second game-winner from Corey Webster has sealed a superb overtime road victory in Perth for the New Zealand Breakers.

The home team had come out victorious in the last eight contests between the two rivals; a cause of the long travel required and the recent success of both sides.

So, also considering that Perth had also won 10 straight games at home, and then factoring that the short-handed Breakers were coming off a loss to Cairns just two nights before, it seemed odds-on that the streak would continue.

It wasn't that simple for the Breakers, who battled through an inconsistent display to steal the victory in the dying seconds.


Perth seemed to have the game in control, leading with the ball with nine seconds remaining. As the Breakers went to intentionally foul, Perth import Jaron Johnson threw the ball out of bounds, giving the Breakers one last shot.

Webster didn't disappoint, slicing his way into the lane through two defenders before scooping a tough shot and getting it to drop.

It was a deserved moment for a player finding his form after an inconsistent start to the season. Playing through a hip injury, Webster was filling in at point guard for the injured Ben Woodside, and fit the bill with a career high seven assists to go with 20 points.

Perhaps unlike years prior, the Breakers don't have an obvious best player, instead possessing a malleable mix of contributors whose strengths and weaknesses largely overlap.

So when Kirk Penney's shot abandoned him late, the Breakers showed their ability to change styles, as Akil Mitchell bullied his way to two overtime buckets as part of a 16 point, 10 rebound display.

Perth's offensive strategy was far more direct than the Breakers'. A lack of three point shooters meant that the Wildcats did most of their work inside, and although they only shot at 38 per cent, they bullied the Breakers on the glass with a remarkable 26 offensive rebounds.

Matt Knight proved problematic inside with 24 points and 13 rebounds, and Casey Prather added 20 points and 10 boards before fouling out.

The Breakers were more balanced - proficient at getting to the line with improved incisive offensive movement and a quality mix of interior and exterior scoring.

That proved crucial when their shots weren't dropping late, as Webster dashed into the paint and forced home the winner.

New Zealand Breakers 87 (Webster 20, Abercrombie 17, Mitchell 16)
Perth Wildcats 86 (Knight 24, Prather 20)
Halftime: 46-41