The SKYCITY New Zealand Breakers face off against one of their most fierce playoff rivals in a do or die clash in Sydney today when they come up against the Sydney Kings.

With both teams on 12 win and 13 loss records and running out of games, a win is vital to not only maintain pace with the top four, but to effectively go a long way towards eliminating the other from contention at the same time.

SKYCITY Breakers Head Coach Paul Henare says little has changed from the way his team has been approaching things these past few weeks.

"It is sudden death for us, this is a huge game against Sydney given where we are on the table and identical records with just three games to play. This is a massive game for us for sure, we are well and truly in playoff mode with three games left and cant afford to drop anymore."

After the injury scare to Akil Mitchell that has made headlines around the world but most importantly impacted hugely on the Breakers playing group, support staff and entire club, Henare says it has been a tough few days, but that the team is in good place on the back of Mitchells miraculous recovery.

"I think the spirit has been uplifted just with Akils recovery, that was the biggest cloud hanging over everyone, myself included, we were all thinking of Akils health these past few days. As soon as we found out he was on the mend the jokes started flying and everyone started feeling better and for me it helped us get over the Cairns game but importantly we are all able to look forward."

Henare says there are clearly performance related matters of concern as well coming off the home loss against Cairns.

"It just felt we had numerous defensive breakdowns which allowed them to get open looks and Gliddon got open early and allowed them to feel confident in our gym. As far as what we take into the Sydney game we know that they also have a number of key guys with talent all over the floor but they are well led by Lisch and Cadee in terms of their scoring punch and we cant afford to have those breakdowns against these players. If we are locked in and make it a bit of a grind for them, we are in with a chance.

"We have to embrace the situation we are in and enjoy it. It is a tough situation, tough game, tough trip on the road but we have guys that genuinely enjoy those situations and that is our message, just go out and enjoy it and have fun."

With Mitchell not travelling and expecting to see specialists again early this week, the Breakers have travelled Jordan Ngatai with the group.

The game tips off at 5pm NZT and is covered live on SKY Sport.

- This story has been automatically published using a media release from Basketball New Zealand