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Breakers scrape out NBL win over Hawks

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 18/11/2016

Finn Delany of the Breakers in action during the round seven NBL match between the New Zealand Breakers and the Illawarra Hawks at North Shore Events Centre on November 18, 2016 in Auckland, New Zealand. © Anthony Au-Yeung/Getty Images Finn Delany of the Breakers in action during the round seven NBL match between the New Zealand Breakers and the Illawarra Hawks at North Shore Events Centre on November 18, 2016 in Auckland, New Zealand. The New Zealand Breakers have avenged last year's four-match losing streak to the Illawarra Hawks with a scrappy 100-85 win in Auckland on Friday.

The Breakers, who led by as much as 25 midway through the second spell, had to fend off a third-quarter revival from the visitors before they secured their sixth win from 10 starts this season.

The victory was anchored by an outstanding first quarter, won 33-16 by the Breakers, and provided an encouraging welcome for new signing David Stockton.

The American point guard top-scored for the Breakers with 17 while former Hawks shooting guard Kirk Penney and Tom Abercrombie chipped in with 16 apiece.

Corey Webster and Alex Pledger each contributed 14 to a strong all-round New Zealand shooting performance.

Rotnei Clarke led the way for Illawarra with 17 points, while Marvelle Harris and Andrew Ogilivy each added 16.

The Breakers dominated the offensive boards, opening out to a 12-0 lead before the Hawks finally found their range.

Illawarra improved their damage control in the second quarter, but the Breakers were still finding plenty of space on the shot and extended their lead to 57-38 at halftime.

Illawarra lifted their defensive intensity to launch a spirited comeback in the third stanza, taking the spell 31-23 to reduce the Breakers' lead to 80-69 at the three-quarter mark.

Harris led the way with an 11-point haul in the third quarter, while Kenny White underlined the Illawarra comeback with an emphatic three-pointer on the buzzer.

But the Breakers maintained their composure to outscore the Hawks 20-16 in the closing spell and secure the win.

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