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Breakers win again, stay third in NBL

The New Zealand Breakers have beaten the Brisbane Bullets 99-71 in the Australian NBL to keep alive their hopes of an automatic semi-final spot.

Jarrell Brantley
Jarrell Brantley Photo: Photosport

The Breakers had lost four straight before beating top of the table Sydney Kings last weekend and last night's win keeps them third, but just a win behind the second placed Cairns Taipans.

The top two teams automatically qualify for the semi-finals, while the next four teams go into a play-off tournament.

The Breakers welcomed back Barry Brown Jr and Izayah Le'afa to have a full roster available for just the third time this season.

Things were relatively tight through the first quarter, but the Breakers blew the game wide open with 33 points in the second term including a streak of 18-5 through the middle stages.

Another 11-0 run early in the second half ensured the Breakers opened up a match-winning advantage to lead by 25 before cruising to the 28-point win.

The result improves the Breakers to a 15-10 record to be hot on the heels of the 16-9 Cairns Taipans. The Bullets are now 8-18 with two games in their season to go.

Jarrell Brantley had 17 of his 22 points for the game to set the win up in the first half to go with three assists, two steals and two rebounds on 8/11 shooting from the floor and 3/5 from beyond the arc.

His frontcourt partner Dererk Pardon added 17 points and nine rebounds with Barry Brown Jr returning with 14 points, three assists and two steals. Will McDowell-White, Tom Abercrombie, Cam Gliddon and Rayan Rupert all scored nine points.

Breakers coach Mody Maor was delighted with his team's performance and to have everybody available.

"We played a good game. We kept them to 71 points, which is good and that's our baseline," Maor said.

"It's nice to have everyone back and even with minutes restriction and finding rhythm and stuff, it's good to have all of our guys. It gives us another gear to push on and another punch off the bench. I'm pleased but it's onto the next one."

The Breakers are at home to Melbourne United on Saturday and then finish the regular season against Illawarra and Brisbane again.