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Breakers falter in front of record crowd


Will McDowell-White of the Breakers

Will McDowell-White of the Breakers
Photo: AAP / www.photosport.nz

Back-to-back losses in the Australian NBL finals series could derail the Breakers comeback season.

The Breakers lost 91-68 to the Sydney Kings on Friday night to give the defending champion Kings a 2-1 lead in the best-of-five finals and the opportunity to lift the trophy in enemy territory on Sunday.

For the first time this season, in five games between the Breakers and Kings, the home side won.

In front of a record-breaking NBL crowd of 18,049 loud supporters at Qudos Bank Arena the Breakers were ahead by 2 points after the first quarter as barely anything seperated the two sides early in the game.

Import guard Barry Brown Junior lead the Breakers scoring early including back-to-back threes late in the first half which gave the Breakers a 47-43 lead going into halftime.

Kings coach Chase Buford must have found some motivating words for his side at the break as the momentum swung the home side’s way in the third quarter and the fouls mounted against the Breakers.

The Kings held the Breakers to 12 points in the third period while scoring 24 of their own to edge ahead going in the final quarter.

The fourth quarter was all the Kings as they continued their second half dominance to blew out to a big win.

Dejan Vasiljevic with 15 points was the Kings’ leading scorer, with Tim Soares adding 14 points and Justin Simon 13.

For the Breakers the star of game one of the finals series, Will McDowell-White, scored 11 points and 6 rebounds in the return to Sydney

Brown, Jarrell Brantley and Rayan Rupert all scored 10 points each in the loss.

However, Brantley also fouled out of the game as did the Kings’ Jordan Hunter.

Game four is in Auckland at a sold out Spark Arena on Sunday, in front of what will be a record crowd for a basketball game in New Zealand of 9740.

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