Official Player Websites Subscribe - Free Newsletter

Sports News First

Breakers beat misfiring Kings in Sydney

By Chris Pike
29 December 2013 04:32PM EST

NEW Zealand's import duo Gary Wilkinson and Kerron Johnson came up big down the stretch to lead the Breakers to a 99-83 win over a Sydney team that again went missing in the final quarter.

In just the second NBL match in two weeks, the three-time defending champion but bottom-placed Breakers proved far too cool down the stretch for the Kings at the Sydney Entertainment Centre on Sunday to cruise to the 16-point victory.

The win improves the Breakers to a 5-9 record on the season and sees them shoot up from the bottom to sixth place in the standings.

It breaks a run of three straight losses for New Zealand as the defending champions begin a run of four straight home games against the NBL's top-four teams at present – Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth.

Sydney holds on to fourth spot on the ladder despite slipping to a 5-7 record and once again coming up short in the final quarter with a game on the line.

The Kings couldn’t make a play down the stretch finishing the game with 21 turnovers and New Zealand managed to take full advantage scoring 21 points off those turnovers.

Sydney has now still won just the one game since releasing import point guard Jesse Sanders to upgrade with the NBA-experienced NBA swingman Sam Young.

Young certainly can't be blamed for that, but the Kings are without question missing having a genuine point guard in their line-up.

Sunday's game was tight for the most part and was still locked up at 70-apiece with six minutes to go in the contest, but from that point on New Zealand did everything right and Sydney did the complete opposite.

Import big man Wilkinson enjoyed the freedom that came with centre Alex Pledger being absent for New Zealand and he and point guard Johnson combined for the Breakers' next eight points as they opened up a 78-71 advantage.

Two Daryl Corletto free-throws and then an easy lay-up suddenly saw New Zealand lead by double-figures before Wilkinson and Johnson continued to come up big in the dying minutes as the Breakers cruised to the 16-point victory.

Wilkinson led the way for the Breakers all afternoon long as he put on his most dominant performance of the season since arriving to replace the underperforming Darnell Lazare.

The two-time championship winner finished with 31 points and six rebounds on the back of shooting 12-of-21 from the field.

Johnson also put in one of his better efforts of the season for New Zealand with 21 points and three assists.

Tom Abercrombie added 13 points and two impressive blocked shots with Corey Webster adding 11 points and Mika Vukona seven to go with eight rebounds and three assists.

Ben Madgen top-scored for Sydney with 26 points and five assists with Young adding 21 points, six rebounds and four assists on an efficient 9-of-16 shooting from the field. He also had a game-high six turnovers though.

Tom Garlepp finished with 14 points and nine rebounds with centre AJ Ogilvy adding 10 points, 16 boards and three assists.

The NBL will now look forward to three matches on New Year's Eve with the Wollongong Hawks hosting the Melbourne Tigers, the Cairns Taipans hosting the Perth Wildcats and the Townsville Crocodiles taking on the Adelaide 36ers at The Swamp.

Your view first

Add your comment... Comments (0)