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Breakers win snaps losing streak

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 8/12/2016

The New Zealand Breakers have broken their four-game NBL losing streak with a 82-75 win over the Brisbane Bullets in Auckland on Thursday.

The win lifts the Breakers off the bottom of a congested table into fourth place, and consigned the second-placed Bullets to their third loss from four games.

It was the Breakers' second win from three starts against the Bullets this season, after last month's 86-70 victory followed an opening 82-88 loss in Brisbane.

The Breakers anchored their win at Vector Arena around a third-quarter blitz after the scores were level at 39-39 following a dour first half.

They opened the spell with a 16-0 scoring run, built around strong defensive work close in and smart transition play.

But they fell off in the closing minutes of the quarter, gifting Cameron Bairstow a three-pointer on the buzzer to close the spell and narrow the Breakers' lead to 63-55 at the last break.

The final quarter turned into a grim tussle as both teams upped the defensive pressure, Mika Vukona and Akil Mitchell both fouling out for the Breakers inside the last four minutes.

Vukona finished the game with 12 points and four rebounds, one of five Breakers players to reach double figures.

Kirk Penney led the way with 16 points, including four of five from the three-point line, while Tom Abercrombie picked up 15.

Rob Loe's 14 was backed up by his sterling work in amassing seven rebounds and three assists, while Alex Pledger was busy in collecting 10 rebounds to go with his eight points.

Bairstow led the way for the Andrej Lemanis-coached Bullets, scoring a game-high 20 which included nine of 11 from the free-throw line.

Daniel Kickert was the only other Bullets player to make double figures, contributing 17 points, four rebounds and three assists.

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