Breakers 109 Brisbane 96
The New Zealand Breakers just need to keep winning and that's exactly what they're doing.
With their Australian NBL playoff chances in that dreaded 'mathematical equation' territory, Kevin Braswell's side picked up a second win in four days by beating the Brisbane Bullets 109-96 today.
Based on their latest performance at Spark Arena it would be a shame if the Breakers were ruled out of the playoff race so soon – which seems likely the next time they suffer a regular season defeat. The equation sits at six games left, most likely six wins needed.
Five Breakers players reached double figures with Shawn Long (23 points with six rebounds) and Jarrad Weeks (20 points) leading the way for the home side. The bench offered some much-needed assistance producing 62 points with Finn Delany (17 points, four rebounds) and Patrick Richard (16 points, 10 rebounds) along with Weeks causing all sorts of problems for the fourth-placed Bullets.
Following the Breakers' Thursday night 113-106 win over the Taipans, today's win marked the first time since 2014 they've scored 100 plus in consecutive games.
The Breakers got out to a fast start leading by 16 at one point in the first half before Brisbane fought back briefly taking the lead late in the third quarter. But then the home side closed it out for win number 10 of the season as the bench took over.
"The guys on the bench really picked it up. Pushed that energy when we needed it in the second half and I think we just ran with it from there," Weeks said after the game.
"It's always good when you've got five or six guys in double figures. It just makes it a lot easier. We just got to keep working on our defensive game. We kept them under 100 for the first time for what feels like the whole season.
Despite the back-to-back victories, the Breakers remain in seventh place, two victories behind the Bullets who sit in the fourth and final playoff spot.
For the visitors Lamar Patterson had a team high 18 points while their skipper Cameron Gliddon finished with 16.
Breakers great and club favourite Mika Vukona scored seven points and had five rebounds for Brisbane but was forced to leave the court in the final quarter after banging knees with Long.
The Breakers next host second-placed Melbourne on Friday before making the trip across to Victoria on Sunday.
"Doesn't get any easier unfortunately," Weeks said. "Melbourne back to back next week and then it gets harder from there. Six games left. We've just got to try and win all of them.