2 Mar 2015

Breakers to face Cairns in NBL finals

8:19 am on 2 March 2015

The Breakers basketballers will face Cairns in the NBL grand final after the Taipans completed a 2-nil clean sweep of their semi-final series against the defending champion Perth Wildcats.

Tai Wesley of the Breakers in action against Cairns

The Breakers in action against Cairns last month. Photo: Photosport

The Taipans led by margins of three, 10 and eight at the three breaks respectively on their way to an 80-68 game two win in the Sunday evening clash in Perth.

Cairns expanded their advantage to 14 midway through the third quarter.

Perth, who were missing injured Shawn Redhage and Greg Hire, rallied either side of the final break, with Wildcats guard Jermaine Beal levelling the score with a three-pointer.

Former Wildcat Stephen Weigh almost immediately grabbed the lead back for Cairns with a long bomb that triggered a match-clinching 10-0 run.

All five Cairns starters scored in double figures.

Weigh and point guard Scottie Wilbekin each tallied 16, Cameron Gliddon and Alex Loughton 11 each and Matthew Burston 10.

Centre Matthew Knight was Perth's only consistent offensive threat, notching 18 points and ten boards.

Beal, who was quiet for most of the game, top-scored for Perth with 21, most of which were scored in the final quarter, but he made just seven of 20 field goal attempts.

Knight and Jesse Wagstaff both grabbed 10 rebounds, but the latter missed all nine of his field goal shots, with Perth collectively shooting just under 34 per cent.

The best-of-three game grand final series between the Breakers and Taipans starts in Cairns on Friday.

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