22 Nov 2014

Breakers win again

5:54 am on 22 November 2014

The New Zealand Breakers have made it four straight wins in the Australian National Basketball League, beating the in-form Melbourne United 80-72 in Auckland.

The Breakers were never headed at Vector Arena and opened up a big lead in the second quarter.

But they had to withstand a United comeback before holding out in a tense finish.

Breakers guard Corey Webster in action against Melbourne in the 2014 ANBL.

Breakers guard Corey Webster in action against Melbourne in the 2014 ANBL. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Breakers guard Corey Webster had a career-high 25 points, draining six of his eight attempts from beyond the arc.

Influential point guard Cedric Jackson added 14 points and five assists, while skipper Mika Vukona pulled in nine rebounds as the Breakers won the battle of the boards.

For Melbourne, Jordan McRae was their big scorer with 24 points.

The Breakers, who came into the latest round second on the ladder, were without regular starter Tom Abercrombie after his late withdrawal with a thigh injury.

United were backing up from big wins over then-competition leaders Cairns and Adelaide.

They had also cruised past the Breakers 95-74 when the sides met in Melbourne a month ago.

Webster made a hot start, landing three early treys as he collected 11 of his side's first 13 points.

United stayed close over the first quarter, and a basket on the buzzer by former Breakers favourite Daryl Corletto tied the score at 19-19.

But the Breakers pulled away with a 10-0 spurt when play resumed.

Efficient in transition, they went on to outscore the visitors 33-16 in the second quarter to lead 52-35 at the main break.

But as in their last-up win over the Wollongong, the Breakers went off the boil in the third period.

United increased their defensive pressure to close to 10 points at three-quarter time, and continued to chip away in the final quarter.

The Perth Wildcats beat Adelaide 84-74 to stay top of the standings with the Breakers second with an 8 and 3 record.

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