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Breakers slump to Kings defeat at home

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 20/10/2016 Angelo Risso

The NZ Breakers have brought up skipper Mika Vukona's 300th club appearance in the worst possible way, going down 92-78 to the Sydney Kings.

Last year's NBL runners-up looked off the mark from the first moment in Auckland, as Kings guns Kevin Lisch and new import Josh Powell ran the show.

Former NBA champion Powell brought up an impressive 17 points and three rebounds, while star recruit Lisch nailed 14 points.

Power forward Greg Whittington also snared 22 points with 70 per cent shooting accuracy in a dominant display.

The Breakers struggled to get within 10 points of the Sydney outfit, who look rejuvenated under the guidance of new boss Andrew Gaze.

They lost all four quarters and relinquished the ball 17 times after falling behind the eight-ball with an insipid first-quarter.

Despite pushing into an early six-point lead, the Breakers fell behind quickly as Lisch, Jason Cadee and Tom Garlepp drained from behind the three-point line.

A 23-18 first-quarter scoreline quickly turned into a 14-point buffer in the second before a late Breakers rally sent the sides into the break at 50-42.

The Breakers continued to haemorrhage points in the second half, spared only by the excellence of swingman Tom Abercrombie.

Abercrombie threw 17 points, including a pair of three-pointers, as his side tried desperately to get back into the match.

A closer third quarter, with just two points separating the sides, set the Breakers up for a potentially barnstorming finish at 72-62.

New Zealand field goals to Alex Pledger, gun shooting guard Corey Webster and Akil Mitchell brought the margin to seven, but the lethal Whittington and Powell kicked into gear when their side needed them, restoring a 12-point buffer and killing off the match.

New Zealand now head to Brisbane to take on the Bullets this weekend, while the Kings gear up for Illawarra at home on Monday.

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