After finally getting on the board with their first win of the season, the New Zealand Breakers looked to upset Melbourne United in the NBL.
It took six back-to-back losses for the Breakers to get their first win of the season and took on fourth-placed United at Spark Arena.
The Breakers shocked the Brisbane Bullets away from home while in United’s previous game they were able to defeat the JackJumpers 76-72.
United started strongest of the two teams taking an early lead, but the rejuvenated Breakers took the lead late on in the first through American import Peyton Siva, who put up nine points in the first quarter.
The Breakers only averaged a total of seven shots made beyond the arch but United allowed them to notch up six three-pointers in the first half. Yani Wetzell continued to have a major impact throughout the quarter while the 31-year-old American point guard Siva kept knocking down his shots to keep the Breakers in front into halftime.
The American duo continued on as they finished the first half, Martin knocked down a three early while Siva continued to control the half-court and work hard on the defensive end to hound ball-handlers.
Unfortunately for the Breakers though, it was another defensive breakdown as they succumbed to their seventh loss of the season and United moved up to five wins for the NBL season.
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Lack of consistency for New Zealand
It was a case of too much effort early on again for the Breakers, despite a positive start against the reigning champions Melbourne United the effort and points scored once again dropped down deeper into the game.
Numerous times this season the Breakers have been unable to close out games and it is what is costing the team after their 0-6 start to the 21/22 NBL season.
It was a negative start to the third quarter and after an early positive start in the first half the team was unable to capitalise on the lead they held.
United were excellent in boxing out and kept the American duo of Siva and Martin quiet in the last two quarters with centre Jo Lual-Acuil causing havoc for the two guards in the paint.
5000-Point Goulding performance sets up United win
It was Chris Goulding who inspired the champions to their fifth win of the season and along the way joined the illustrious 5000 point club in the NBL.
Goulding finished with 28 points while United teammate Lual-Acuil finished with a double-double against the Breakers.
Goulding was able to hit four shots beyond the arch and eight in the paint – his performance combined with Lual-Acuil was what allowed Melbourne United to grind out their victory over the New Zealand Breakers.
Chris Goulding became the 49th player in NBL history to join the 5,000 career points club and just the second active player along with Daniel Johnson.
Joseph Lual-Acuil dominates over the Breakers
It was dominating, easy and free-flowing for the 27-year-old centre. He put up a superb performance against the Breakers.
He started the game strong knocking down shots and working hard on the defensive end and by the end of the match he had 12 rebounds.
Playing at centre, Lual-Acuil was the main factor in United’s victory as his offensive and defensive dominance in the paint proved too strong for the Breakers.
Melbourne United now face the Illawarra Hawks while the Breakers play Sydney Kings in their next respective games.
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