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Imports impress in Breakers' NBL win

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 13/01/2017
Kirk Penney (15) also stepped up as the last-placed Breakers improved their record to 9-13 with seven games of the regular season remaining. © AAP IMages/NZPA, David Rowland Kirk Penney (15) also stepped up as the last-placed Breakers improved their record to 9-13 with seven games of the regular season remaining.

Stand-out performances from US imports Paul Carter and Kevin Dillard have kept the Breakers' NBL play-off hopes alive with a 92-74 win over the Sydney Kings in Auckland.

Playing just his fourth game for the Breakers, Carter led all scorers with 23 points, including five of six from long range.

Dillard wasn't far behind in his second game for the Aucklanders, amassing 19 points while also collecting six rebounds, six assists and five steals.

Kirk Penney (15) and Akil Mitchell (12) also stepped up as the last-placed Breakers improved their record to 9-13 with seven games of the regular season remaining.

Carter blasted out of the blocks in collecting 10 points for the first quarter as the Breakers eased out to a 24-21 lead at the first break.

Mitchell took over in the second spell, kickstarting the quarter with three quick baskets before Carter added another trey and the Breakers opened out a 10-point lead midway through the second quarter.

They couldn't maintain momentum, however, and Sydney clawed their way back to trail 38-36 just over a minute out from halftime.

Tom Garlepp led the way with a series of defensive rebounds, a sweet alley-oop and a deadly three-point jump shot, but the Breakers finished the spell on a five-point run to lead 43-36 at the main break.

After a lacklustre shooting display in the second quarter, when they delivered a sub-par 33 per cent success rate from the field and the three-point line, the Kings lifted in the third stanza.

They took the spell 25-17 on the back of a vastly improved long-range effort as Kevin Lisch (9), Jason Cadee (18) and Greg Whittington (12) all delivered from beyond the paint.

Trailing 60-61 at the three-quarter mark, the Breakers stuttered into life late in the final spell, going on a 14-2 scoring run to lead 76-65 with under five minutes remaining.

The Kings rallied but for once the Breakers engineered a strong finish to halt a three-game losing streak, while Sydney now have lost six of their last seven starts.

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