NZ Breakers 70
Sydney Kings 71
The New Zealand Breakers just can't seem to get their heads around the Sydney Kings this season.
After being outscored by a combined 36 points in their first two encounters of the season, the Breakers were again unable to step up to the challenge in Auckland yesterday.
The Sydney side continued their dominance of the Auckland side this season; though the 71-70 score line flattered the hosts.
The Kings were helped in large part by the dismal third quarter performance from the home side, but were at risk of giving the win away in the late stages of the game.
The Breakers were only able to post six points in the third period of the game, which allowed the Kings to build a hefty 15-point lead after the sides were tied at half time.
Former NBA star Andrew Bogut led the charge for Sydney, posting 23 points and collecting 16 rebounds to continue his domination on the glass this year and maintain his spot as the league's top rebounding presence.
The Breakers got their act back together in the fourth quarter to make a late run, thanks in large part to the work of Jarrad Weeks, who posted 19 points off the bench. Outscoring the Kings 29-15 in the fourth quarter, the hosts found themselves in a position to pull off the unlikely comeback at the final hooter in what was a farcical final sequence.
Sydney guard Jerome Randle collected an inbounds pass with 2.4 seconds left in the game and his side up by one. It seemed the Breakers needed to foul, but Randle gave them hope by stepping out of bounds with little over a second left in the game.
It allowed the hosts to draw up one final play to try to steal the win, which saw Thomas Abercrombie launch a midrange fade away jumper which clanged off the rim.
The loss is the fifth straight for the Breakers who are left struggling near the foot of the table with a 4-8 record. They sit above only the Cairns Taipans, who have just one win to their name.
Sydney Kings 71 (Andrew Bogut 23 points 16 rebounds, Jerome Randle 14 points)
NZ Breakers 70 (Jarrad Weeks 19 points, Thomas Abercrombie 18, Tai Wesley 14 and 11 rebounds)