The 36ers came into Sunday night’s clash looking for back-to-back wins after beating Illawarra on Friday night. While the Breakers travelled to Adelaide welcoming back Will McDowell-White who had missed the last game due to a finger injury.
Whilst it was a frantic start to the game for both teams, the Breakers enjoyed the stronger opening quarter. Applying pressure on the defensive end and forcing the Sixers into poor options late in the shot clock, whilst the Sixers couldn’t make their shots count under the basket.
Barry Brown Jr was a workhorse in the opening period, scoring 10 points. While Robert Franks and Kai Sotto worked hard inside the paint and finding opportunities around the perimeter.
The Breakers had a strong second quarter, winning 26-23 as they made it difficult for the Sixers on the offensive end, forcing them into 10 turnovers and converting points from turnovers, 15-7.
Every time the Sixers scored, the Breakers came back with a response and lifted their ball movement at a quick pace, picking the right shot selections.
The Breakers found their range from the three-point line in the second quarter, shooting six from 16 at 38 per cent, whilst forcing the Sixers to shoot two from eight at 25 per cent.
Izayah Le’Afa was on song from the three point line, whilst Barry Brown Jr continued to be a threat driving to the basket and Dererk Pardon being a threat under the basket and doing the little things well. In his return, Will McDowell-White was finding the open options and was instrumental in setting up the offence.
Whilst the rebound count was even in the first half, 17-16, the Breakers were more effective in the assist category, 9-2.
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The Sixers were effective in the third quarter, winning the period, 25-23. Whilst both teams lifted the physicality a notch, turnovers were the story for the Sixers, racking up 18. However, they were much more effective on the defensive end, pulling down 20 defensive rebounds.
Whilst Robert Franks, Antonius Cleveland and Kai Sotto all continued to work hard offensively, Sotto starred on both ends of the floor, making some big plays. The Sixers continued to lift on the defensive end.
Whilst the Sixers reduced the margin to single digits in the last quarter, the Breakers continued to hold strong and find their own responses on the offensive end.
The Sixers had good looks on the offensive end with the potential to win the match. A three-point shot came empty and unable to drop, the Breakers came up clutch and hold on in the last moments of the game, sealing victory, 85-83.
Points off turnovers were key for the Breakers, finishing the game 28 points to 15. Whilst turnovers hurt the Sixers, losing the count 23-15.
With both teams both finishing the game shooting from the field at 48 per cent, the Breakers shot the ball better from the three-point line, finishing the game shooting at 11 from 29 at 38 per cent, compared to the Sixers, four from 22 at 18 per cent.
Speaking to the media, New Zealand coach Mody Maor spoke about the need to control the game and answering back every time Adelaide had scored.
“I’m happy with how we responded for significant parts. I also think this is part of our growth,” Maor said.
“These is kind of the games we need to get through, these are the situations we need to learn from. This is the feedback sessions we need to sit down and see when you use a foul, when you don’t use a foul, when you bring the ball up, when you go for the kill spaw.
“That’s the great opportunity to learn for a very new and young team, these kind of circumstances don’t show themselves all the time,
“I’m happy they showed now because we’re going to need it down the stretch.”
Melbourne United face a triple header in Round 15, facing the Perth Wildcats on Tuesday night, Melbourne United at home in Christchurch and the Cairns Taipans at Spark Arena on Sunday afternoon.
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