Will Hudson of the Breakers looks for support. (Photo by
Phil Walter/Getty Images)
Point guard Cedric Jackson was in unstoppable form for
the New Zealand Breakers as they overwhelmed Melbourne Tigers
94-64 in their NBL match in Auckland.
Jackson picked up a rare triple double in finishing the match
with 28 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists, leading from the
front as the defending champions got their season back on
track with a vengeance.
Still smarting after their 25-point thrashing away to Perth
Wildcats last week, the Breakers had a point to prove in
front a capacity North Shore Events Centre crowd.
The Tigers could find no answer to a dominant Breakers
defence, American point guard Jonny Flynn top-scoring with 15
and Bennie Lewis the only other player to reach double
figures on 10.
The Breakers didn't make the best of starts, some sluggish
defence allowing Chris Goulding and Flynn a clear path to the
basket as the Tigers edged out to a five-point lead early in
the first quarter.
But the Breakers went on a 16-2 run soon after to wrest the
lead back, upping the defensive pressure and efficiently
converting turnovers into points on the board to go into the
first break 29-16 ahead.
New Zealand were strong on the defensive boards and ruthless
on the fast break, and although the Tigers showed more steel
on defence in the second quarter, the Kiwis went into
halftime with a 54-37 lead.
Jackson, up against old US collegiate rival Flynn, was
everywhere. He picked up 16 points in the first half, five
assists, four rebounds and three steals as the Breakers ran
riot, and maintained momentum in the second spell to finish
with career-best figures.
The Tigers battled hard in a low-scoring, scrappy third
quarter won 19-10 by the Breakers. Coach Andrej Lemanis
continued to use his bench and the New Zealanders edged out
the final spell 21-17 for a win that was never in doubt.