1 Jan 2016

Breakers beaten on NYE

1:12 pm on 1 January 2016

The New Zealand Breakers brought in the New Year with a loss, with the defending champions beaten 73-66 by the Taipans in their NBL basketball clash in Cairns.

Breakers star Corey Webster

Breakers star Corey Webster Photo: Photosport

The defeat drops the Breakers from third to fourth on the NBL ladder.

Shooting guard Corey Webster top-scored for the Breakers with 24 points, while Charles Jackson posted a 16 points and 12 rebounds.

The home side shot just 34 percent from the field in the first half but New Zealand was worse, at a humbling 31 percent.

Webster (12 points) scored almost half of the Breakers' total as they went into half-time down 29-26.

In ominous signs for the Snakes - who had blown large leads in their previous two games - Cedric Jackson swished a triple to open the final quarter to get the Breakers back within one possession.

But again, Cairns had answers when it counted as a five-point Breaker burst was met by a cold-blooded Shaun Bruce triple, taking their lead out to five with 4:18 remaining.

The Auckland side rode the hands of Webster and Cedric Jackson (who hit two triples in the final term), but Cairns weren't to be robbed of another victory.

"The score was the right total - it has been a grind of a game the couple of new year's games we've played up here have been in the 60s and low 70s so defensively we did a decent job," Breakers coach Dean Vickerman said.

"The biggest thing for me was (Cairns') intent to get to the foul line. We settled for too many jumpshots tonight and didn't attack the rim enough."

The Breakers (now 11-7), who were without Thomas Abercrombie who flew back to New Zealand for the birth of his baby, are back on court at home against Adelaide next Friday, while Cairns (7-10) are back on Saturday in Sydney