The New Zealand Breakers have a nervous wait ahead of them with a hint of uncertainty around the severity of a leg injury to star import Scotty Hopson.

Hopson went down with what initially appeared to be a hyper-extension of his right knee in the second quarter of his side's 93-85 win over the Cairns Taipans in Auckland.

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Early indications were that the American forward had suffered a hamstring injury and no major ligament damage, but he is expected to get an MRI scan later in the night. While he was unable to return to the game, he did make it back to the sidelines late in the piece to see the Breakers close out the game.

It's the second time in as many weeks that the Breakers have had an injury scare on their home court, with centre Rob Loe suffering a skull fracture in their win against the Illawarra Hawks last Thursday.


Hopson was playing a leading role in the Breakers offence, both in scoring and setting up his teammates, when he left the court. But with Hopson done for the game, the rest of the team stepped up in a big way. Point guard RJ Hampton showed he's getting more and more comfortable in his first season of professional basketball, attacking the hoop with intent and making smart passes, while shooting guard Corey Webster and forward Brandon Ashley kept the scoreboard ticking over. The trio finished as the side's leading scorers, posting 18, 23 and 14 respectively.

Like Hampton, Ashley is beginning to show he's getting comfortable with life in the ANBL after a slow start. Despite still having some trouble with fouls, he's been able to play big minutes in their last two outings to help fill the void left by Loe's absence.

The Breakers seemingly strolled through the first half. Converting on more than 45 per cent of their shots through the opening 20 minutes, the side built their way to a handy 11-point lead at halftime, with the Taipans struggling to get the ball in the hoop.

It was a different story when the second half got underway. Within five minutes, the visitors had taken the lead.

Needing a lift from somewhere, it came in the unlikely form of back-up centre Ater Majok, who made a couple of important plays on both ends of the court to get the hosts back into some sort of rhythm.

By the end of the period the Breakers had fought their way back into the lead and took a five-point buffer into the final 10 minutes.

Down the home stretch, it was Hampton and Webster who again stepped up for the side, guiding them to a nervy win.

NZ Breakers 93 (Corey Webster 23, RJ Hampton 18, Brandon Ashley 14)
Cairns Taipans 85 (Cameron Oliver 23, Majok Deng 18, Kouat Noi 16)