Breakers at the double

The Sky Sport Breakers have continued their winning ways with another impressive pair of victories in Round 8 of the Australian NBL.

The 116-79 home win against Brisbane takes the Breakers to 10-3 overall while the 82-71 victory in Cairns on Friday night was a sixth straight road win. That’s a record that has only been bettered on two occasions in the Breakers history.

The 116 points against Brisbane was the highest score posted by the Breakers since they put a colossal 130 on Illawarra Hawks back in February 2019. It was the highest score posted by any team in the NBL this season and also produced the largest winning margin. 

Their shooting percentages were the best of the season across all three major categories – 60% (44/73) from the field, 51% (17/33) from 3-point land and 84% (11/13) from the charity stripe.

It mattered little on the night but in a tighter contest the Breakers might have been a little bemused by the foul count. The home team were pinged on 29 occasions, the Bullets incurring the wrath of the officials just 14 times. Certainly Tom Abercrombie was not a happy chappie picking up four fouls in under ten minutes to spend almost the entire second half cheering on from the bench. 

There were no such issues in Cairns as the Breakers extended their run of away wins to six on the bounce. The current run of 6 consecutive away victories has only been bettered twice:

In 2008-09 the club enjoyed a 7 game winning streak on the road while the team of 2012-13 put together a run of 8 straight road wins – that was the championship winning season when they only lost 4 games all season.

Here are the key numbers from the two games:

Beat Cairns Taipans 82-71 (away) on Friday

Tom Abercrombie secured 8 rebounds – the most the Breakers swingman has pulled down in a single game since December 2019.

Derek Pardon recorded his third consecutive double-double (15 points and 11 rebounds) and his fourth in the last five games. The last player to produce three consecutive double-doubles for the Breakers was Shawn Long in February 2019.

Kiwi Sam Waardenburg, a former Rangitoto College and Harbour Basketball teammate of Dan Fotu, was outstanding for the Taipans. He finished with 15 points (5/6FG) 6 rebounds, 2 blocks and an assist. Yet to play for the Tall Blacks, after a fine career at the University of Miami, you imagine he is climbing up the pecking order on Pero Cameron’s Tall Blacks long list.

Beat Brisbane Bullets 116-79 at Spark Arena on Sunday

Jarrell Brantley and Izayah Le’afa posted season high points. Brantley was a beast in the low post accumulating 29 points on 13 from 19 shooting.

Le’afa scored all his 21 points in the first half on 7 from 10 shooting including 4 from 6 from deep. 

Cam Gliddon, with 3 rebounds, secured his 1,000th career rebound.

Upcoming

Gliddon needs just 2 points for 3,000 career points. With 2,998 career points he sits 12th on the scoring list of active players which is headed by Adelaide 36ers forward Daniel Johnson with 5,971 points.

Tom Abercrombie (4,204 points) is third on the active players scoring list.

Izayah Le’afa needs 12 points for 600 career points and Tom Vodanovich a single point for 400 career points.

Tom Abercrombie, with I more steal will become the 4th Breaker to pinch 250 steals.

The Breakers top five “Stealers”:

288 Boucher

278 Jackson

252 Vukona

249 Abercrombie

209 Henare

Talking of steals Will McDowell-White needs to pinch 3 more possessions for 50 steals in Breakers colours. 

In addition WM-W is only 3 assists shy of becoming the 11th Breaker to dish 250 assists.

The Breakers are next in action on Thursday entertaining South East Melbourne Phoenix at Christchurch Arena – tip-off 7.30pm followed by a Saturday evening encounter with Perth Wildcats at Vector Arena.

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