Breakers earn first win of season
Fri, 12 Oct 2012 9:08p.m.
A storming final quarter from the New Zealand Breakers swamped Adelaide 36ers as the defending champions racked up a 73-59 NBL win in Auckland.
Almost anonymous in last week's lacklustre 93-72 opening loss to Perth Wildcats, young centre Alex Pledger lifted to feature all across the court at Vector Arena.
Only Cedric Jackson outscored him with 17, while almost as valuable as Pledger's 15 points was his superb effort in picking up 10 rebounds and limiting Luke Schenscher to two points for the match.
While the Breakers lifted noticeably from last week's opener, they struggled until the last quarter of a tight defensive game.
They pressured Adelaide through the court early on, bringing more intensity on defence to out-rebound the 36ers 28 to 14 in the first half.
Breakers import recruit Will Hudson was particularly effective on the offensive boards, and picked up nine rebounds overall to go with his nine points.
Adelaide's fast-break game, so efficient last week in their 84-61 first-up win over the Melbourne Tigers, wasn't running smoothly and the Breakers went into the halftime break with a useful 36-29 lead.
But the 36ers fought back to take the third quarter 18-10 and lead 47-46 going into the last spell.
The Breakers kept cool and three final-quarter three-pointers from Jackson catapulted them back in front, as the two-time defending champions finally found their rhythm to take out the final quarter 27-12.
For Adelaide, Daniel Johnson top-scored with 15, backed up with solid efforts from Anthony Petrie's 13 and Adam Gibson's 12.
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