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NBL glamour clubs hit turbulence

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 6/11/2016 Adrian Warren

Injury-hit Melbourne United and fellow glamour club Sydney have run into NBL turbulence but perennial contenders NZ Breakers are building nicely.

Ladder-leading Sydney's five-match winning streak came to a shuddering halt at Cairns on Saturday with the Taipans winning 64-57.

Cairns overcame the absence of injured starters Travis Trice and Alex Loughton but Sydney will get a quick chance for revenge on Monday when they host the Taipans in the final match of the round.

"I thought we were pretty horrible and we've got to look at ourselves and rebound on Monday," Kings' guard Jason Cadee said.

You really start to see where you are as a team when you come back from losses and we get a chance to do it against a team that's just beat us, so we'll see how good we are on Monday night."

Without injured stars Chris Gouiding and Todd Blanchfield, Melbourne slumped to two losses in round five.

A 98-92 overtime home loss to the Breakers on Friday was followed by an 82-73 away loss to Illawarra on Sunday.

Four straight losses have left Melbourne struggling in the NBL basement and coach Dean Demopolous isn't sure when Goulding and Blanchfield will be back.

"We just have to get better at what we're doing," Demopolous said.

Perth equalled Sydney's 5-2 record with a 106-103 home win over Adelaide on Saturday.

A 40-point game from brilliant 36ers guard Jerome Randle wasn't enough to secure victory for an Adelaide side missing the injured Daniel Johnson and Mitch Creek.

Reinstated import Jaron Johnson hit six three-pointers, including a prayer from near halfway on the halftime buzzer but fellow Wildcats' guard Damian Martin suffered a leg injury in his first game after fracturing his jaw.

"We're getting there, we're not firing on all cylinders yet," Perth coach Trevor Gleeson said.

The redoubtable Breakers made it three straight wins, following up their conquest of Melbourne with an 86-70 home victory over Brisbane on Sunday despite being without injured guard Ben Woodside.

Kirk Penney scored 30, including six three-pointers and centre Alex Pledger notched his second double-double of the round, as former Breakers coach and current Brisbane mentor Andrej Lemanis had an unhappy New Zealand homecoming.

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