The Northern Advocate

Breakers on track


The New Zealand Breakers further entrenched themselves as the team to beat this ANBL season with an offensive onslaught in the first half to set up a supremely impressive 110-84 victory against the South East Melbourne Phoenix in Christchur­ch.

Barry Brown jnr and Rob Loe combined for 22 of a season-best 37 points in the first quarter for the Breaklers before they went into half-time leading by 24 with the Phoenix just unable to get anything from anyone.

From there, New Zealand cruised to the 26-point win to improve to 11-3 on the season having now won five straight.

The second-placed Sydney Kings have an 8 and 3 record.

Not only did the Breakers do well locking down the Phoenix, their offence flowed again fresh off the highest score by any team this season on Sunday against Brisbane — 116.

New Zealand shot 56 per cent from the floor and drained 14/25 from downtown with Barry Brown jnr leading the charge with 31 points on 11/18 shooting and 4/6 from deep.

Jarrell Brantley maintained his standout form with 18 points and four rebounds with 3/4 from downtown while Rob Loe was back firing for 17 points on 6/7 shooting in less than 10 minutes.

Will McDowell-White also had 14 points and 11 assists with Dererk Pardon contributi­ng eight points and 10 rebounds.

Breakers coach Mody Maor was especially happy with the defensive performanc­e to set up the win.

“I was very happy with the way we defended in the first half. I thought we picked our spots and controlled the areas that we wanted to control on defence,” Maor said.

“Even when our defence did break down there were a few scrambles that I did enjoy from our guys putting in multiple efforts. That, for me, is where it starts.”

Phoenix coach Simon Mitchell couldn’t say match afterwards except give full credit to the Breakers.

“We certainly saw the potential of that happening,” he said.

“Last week against Brisbane they were extraordin­ary and that was one hell of a shooting display, but we made it a little easier for them than it probably needed to be.

“I thought we got hit on screens too easy, didn’t fight over and Pardon and Brantley may not have had their biggest nights statistica­lly but just the impact they have on the ball handlers to free them up, they did a fantastic job of that with us early.

“It’s always hard when you give up a 37-point opening quarter and it was similar to our game last time against them, only the roles were reversed.”

The Breakers play Perth tonight in Auckland.

 ?? PHOTO / PHOTOSPORT ?? Barry Brown jnr.
PHOTO / PHOTOSPORT Barry Brown jnr.

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