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Breakers shot down by Bullets in home opener

Newshub logoNewshub 11/10/2018 Grant Chapman
a group of people standing in front of a basketball game: Shawn Long dunks for the Breakers against Brisbane. © Image - Photosport, video - Sky Sport Shawn Long dunks for the Breakers against Brisbane.

NZ Breakers legend Mika Vukona returned to his old stamping ground and stomped his old team, helping the Brisbane Bullets to an emphatic 86-73 win at Auckland's Spark Arena.

Sharpshooter Cam Gliddon, who has joined Brisbane from Cairns Taipans this season, scored a career-high 33 points, including five three-pointers, to lead all scorers, proving unstoppable for the Breakers defence.

But the biggest disappointment was the Breakers offence, where new owners and coach hoped to establish an entertaining up-tempo style. It simply didn't happen.

Gaurd Corey Webster was the only reliable source of points, scoring 23 points off 7/14 shooting and four three-pointers.

The home side started promisingly enough to lead 21-14 after the opening quarter. By half-time, the advantage was only three points, but after the break, they were outscored 51-35, including 18 unaswered points across the third and fourth periods.

American centre Shawn Long picked up two fouls in the first quarter and sat the entire second. When he eventually returned, he showed glimpses of his explosive ability, but not enough to stop the rot.

Vukona chose to turn down a one-year offer from the new Breakers owners and elected to join former coach Andrej Lemanis at the Bullets. While in the twillight of his distinguished career, he showed the hard-nosed approach that was missing from his old outfit.

He had nine points, 4/4 from the field, and fouled out in the final quarter, but not before schooling former teammates Tai Wesley and Finn Delany in the post.

American Alonzo Gee, who played 418 NBA games over a variety of teams, was scoreless at half-time, but found his stroke in the second half, scoring 13 points for Brisbane.

The Bullets outshot their opponents from the arc (13/27) and free-throw line (15/19), and enjoyed a healthy advantage on the offensive boards for plenty of second attempts.

The Breakers must now regroup quickly - they fly to Melbourne to face the defending ANBL champions on Sunday.

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