The 2022 edition of the Sky Sport Breakers seem to thrive on adversity.
Not for the first time this season the team and staff faced minimal recovery time, due to flight cancellations and delays, before taking the court against well rested opponents.
On this occasion, having beaten the Tasmania Jack Jumpers on Friday night in Launceston, the Breakers had to overcome a chaotic return journey before eventually arriving in Auckland just over 12 hours ahead of the Sunday afternoon fixture against the Adelaide 36ers at Trusts Arena.
It was a game in which the Breakers trailed 80-78 with under three minutes to play, a situation where you would have thought the travel weary Breakers might fold. Instead it was the Auckland based club that found another gear outscoring the 36ers 11-3 in the closing minutes to close out an impressive weekend’s work and improve to 8-3 on the season – clear second behind the Sydney Kings (8-2) on the NBL ladder.
Barry Brown Jr scored 14 of his 22 points in the fourth quarter but it was Breakers big man Derek Pardon that was the major influence on proceedings.
Fast becoming a fan favourite Pardon recorded a 19 points/10 rebounds double-double for the second consecutive game while also snaring 3 steals and swatting 3 blocked shots in a 35 minutes high energy performance.
There were other notable contributors to Sunday’s win with Jarrell Brantley posting his first double-double of the season – 17 points and 10 rebounds while Will McDowell-White was also influential with 13 points, 7 assists and 4 rebounds.
It wasn’t the happiest return to Auckland for former Breakers great CJ Bruton who was back in New Zealand for the first time since taking on the head coach role with the 36ers.
It was also a return of sorts for kiwi Hyrum Harris (6 points and 3 rebounds) and Mitch McCarron (8 points, 9 rebounds, 4 assists and 3 steals). The 36ers duo played plenty of games at Trusts Arena during their time in the NZNBL with the James Blond Super City Rangers a few years ago.
Won 89-83 v Adelaide 36’ers at Trusts Arena on Sunday
McDowell-White became the fifth Breaker to score 100 points this season as he notched 13 points.
The Breakers centurion points scorers are:
Won 84-76 v Tasmania Jack Jumpers (away) on Friday
Derek Pardon posted 19 points and 10 rebounds, the exact numbers he posted on Sunday.
Izayah Le’afa dropped 4 from 7 threes on his way to a season high 17 points, he now has 550 NBL career points.
Tom Vodanovich scored his 100th point for the Breakers.
Cam Gliddon needs just 3 rebounds to bring up 1,000 career rebounds and 11 points for 3,000 career points.
Izayah Le’afa requires just 1 assist for 150 career dimes.
Will McDowell-White is 3 assists shy of becoming the 11th Breaker to dish 250 assists.
Tom Abercrombie, with I more steal will become the 4th Breaker to pinch 250 steals.
The Breakers top five “Stealers”:
The Breakers are in Cairns on Friday to face the Taipans before facing yet another quick turnaround to take on Brisbane Bullets at Vector Arena at 4pm on Sunday.