Abercrombie clinches thriller for Breakers

The Breakers' Tom Abercrombie lines up the basket against the Brisbane Bullets. Photo: Getty
The Breakers' Tom Abercrombie lines up the basket against the Brisbane Bullets. Photo: Getty
Amid the mayhem of a game that was slipping through the New Zealand Breakers' fingers, coach Kevin Braswell had little doubt that Tom Abercrombie would deliver the final blow.

And so it transpired as the 11-season NBL veteran killed off a stunning Bullets fightback with a last-second shot that handed the Breakers an 85-84 win at the Brisbane Convention Centre.

The Bullets trailed by as much as 23 points in the first half before guard Adam Gibson (17 points) and Cameron Gliddon (14) almost hauled the home side to a remarkable comeback.

Gibson hit two foul shots to give his side a one-point lead inside the last minute before Abercrombie struck in a frantic finish to the game.

"Tommy's been up and down a little bit this season," Braswell said.

"But Tommy's going to make plays when you need him to.

"Whether it's the defensive end or the offensive end - he came up with a huge offensive board as well - I thought he was great tonight on both ends."

The win helped tighten the Breakers' grasp on a top-four spot while Brisbane's second loss on the buzzer for the weekend saw the Bullets slip to fifth.

New Zealand should have had the game in their keeping after a lopsided first half but the Bullets don't know when to quit.

Two days after it took a buzzer-beating three to sink Brisbane in Perth, the Bullets summoned energy from their reserve tank when guard Adam Gibson shot them back into contention with 17 points.

But they gave the Breakers too much of a head start, and couldn't haul in the visitors who were superbly led by Patrick Richard's 21 points.

"It's huge for us" said Braswell whose Breakers also scored a win against Cairns in Round 5.

Going so close to a win after falling well behind showed the Bullets have admirable character.

They look a powerful side with new import Lamar Patterson (seven steals) on the floor and fourth quarter heroics from Gibson brought the 3170 crowd to their feet.

"It shouldn't take being down 20 to get to that mindset. It's one second and (if) we win that game like against Perth, it's 6-3 instead of 4-5," Gibson said.

"It's a matter of two shots. Everything that leads up to that stuff is what's important.

"The mistakes early in the game hurt us. We show that when we play the right way, we'll beat anyone."

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