Having won the first three encounters with the Tasmanian Jack Jumpers the Sky Sport Breakers went down 93-82 in Hobart on Boxing Day to slip to an 11-6 record – still good enough for second place on the NBL ladder.
After a Covid induced 18 day lay-off the Breakers looked a little out of sync. They gave up 18 turnovers and were out rebounded 45-29, with the differential on the offensive boards 16-6.
Those two factors combined handed extra possessions to the Jack Jumpers who put up 69 field goal attempts to 55 from the Breakers.
Izayah Le’afa led the way for the Breakers with 21 points (4/7 3PG), the second occasion this season he has scored 21 and the 12th time in 16 games he has made double figures.
Other notable contributors were Barry Brown Jr and Jarrell Brantley with 16 points apiece although the latter was guilty of committing 7 turnovers.
Tom Abercrombie scored 11 points (3/4 3PG) while Derek Pardon coupled 8 rebounds with 10 points.
In addition Cam Gliddon played his 300th NBL game against Tasmania, the well-travelled veteran making all three of his shots for 8 points.
With a pair of steals Tom Abercrombie took his career total to 254 moving ahead of Mika Vukona (252) into third spot on the Breakers all-time list in that statistical category. Ahead of him are Cedric Jackson (278) and Dillon Boucher (288).
Izayah Le’afa became the fifth Breaker to pass the 200 points mark this season after McDowell-White, Pardon, Brantley and Brown Jr.
Jayden Bezzant, an injury replacement for Will McDowell-White, became the 142nd player to suit up for the Breakers – the ninth debutant this season!
The playmakers absence broke a sequence of 27 consecutive games by McD-W stretching back to the middle of last season.
18 turnovers equaled the most the Breakers have given up this season and the 6 offensive rebounds the equal fewest they have garnered this campaign. Additionally Tasmania’s 16 O boards was the most the Breakers have given up since allowing the Jack Jumpers to pull down 21 in the second game of the season.
Brown Jr, the Breakers leading scorer this season is only 12 points shy of 300 points.
The Breakers are next in action against Perth Wildcats in New Plymouth on January 4, the first of nine games in January.