Basketball: Jackson red-hot as Breakers blitz Tigers

Will Hudson of the Breakers looks for support. (Photo by Phil Walter/Getty Images)
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.