NZ Breakers overpower Sydney Kings in NBL

Fraser Barton |

The New Zealand Breakers have secured their second win of the NBL season, stunning the Sydney Kings during a second-half comeback in an 82-75 victory.

Flipping the switch on a sluggish start to hand the home side their fifth loss of the season, the Breakers piled on 52 points in the second half and finished the game with an 18-1 run.

The Breakers (2-7) looked their best when they ran in transition, not allowing the Kings (3-5) to set their defence and chipped away away at a 10 point deficit with five minutes remaining.

With the scores locked at 75-75, Yannick Wetzell grabbed a huge offensive rebound over three defenders to give the Breakers another possession and Finn Delany slotted a dagger three-pointer to silence the crowd.

The Kings stayed cold and were then forced to foul while in the bonus, with free throws putting the game out of sight. 

Delany finished with 21 points and nine rebounds for the Breakers while Jeremiah Martin continued his scoring form off the bench to lead all scorers with 22 points, four rebounds and three assists.

“The big thing is that we dug in,” Breakers coach Dan Shamir said after his team won their second game in their past three outings.

“(A) few shots started falling, made a few big plays, few offensive rebounds, got a few big stops and pulled out a great win.

“There was a great example to what happens when you don’t give in, and don’t give up, and you just dig in a little more and you stay together, and you stick to what you should do and all of a sudden a big win like that comes.”

For the Kings, it was a disappointing outing in front of their home crowd as they left the door ajar for the Breakers to get back into the contest.

“We should be embarrassed by the way we finished the game. It’s as simple as that,” coach Chase Buford said.

“It’s got to hurt because that’s not good enough.”

Buford’s side were outscored 30-18 in the final quarter, adding to their difficulties closing out games.

“That’s something we’ve got to work on, obviously it’s cost us in three or four of our losses so far,” he said.

“We’re right there winning often times at the end of games and have struggled down the stretch.

“So I’ll raise my hand that’s on me first – I got to get us in the right looks but like I said, we got to make quick decisions with the basketball.

“We can’t get sticky and hesitant with the game on the line.”