Basketball: Breakers take streak to nine

The Breakers are sitting on cloud nine after tonight's record-breaking win over Wollongong, but next week they face the one side capable of bringing them back down to earth.

With their gruelling summer schedule coming to a successful end, the Breakers (17-3) will take their nine-game winning streak into Friday night's encounter with Perth (13-4) - a team that has handed the defending champions two of their three defeats this season.

Whether the Breakers can increase their club record to 10 straight victories at Vector Arena remains to be seen - but, for now, they can reflect on an incredible month-long stretch.

That stretch was capped with a 91-74 victory in Wollongong tonight, as the Breakers showed few signs of fatigue from Thursday night's win over Sydney in what was their eighth games in 30 days.

"It's a nice achievement," assistant coach Dean Vickerman said. "This group has ticked off a lot of firsts and they take pride in breaking records. But the group hasn't really thought too much about it.

"You talk to the guys and, yep, they're happy about nine in a row, but they're just happy about the way we played."

It was the two clubs' third meeting in three weeks and by far the most comprehensive, with the Breakers determined to celebrate their record streak in style.

The North Shore club clinched the previous two clashed by a combined three points, but a commanding 23-8 margin in the fourth quarter tonight allowed the Breakers to breathe easy.

"Our fourth-quarter defence is something that's been outstanding through this period and we locked into it again tonight and we were pretty tough to score on," Vickerman said.

The Sandpit may have been something of a graveyard in the past - with the Breakers having won just four of 16 games at the venue heading the clash - but Cedric Jackson's 18 points, eight assists and seven rebounds ensured the his side felt right at home.

The zone defence employed by Gordie McLeod usually poses problems for the Breakers, but they had no issues with it tonight. Five Breakers reached double figures, including CJ Bruton whose three triples helped the Breakers to a 49-43 halftime lead.

With Wollongong's shooting hovering around 60 per cent midway through the third, it was a credit to the Breakers' defence that they retained a handy advantage. New Zealand were hammering the Hawks on the boards, including a massive margin of 14 on the offensive glass, as the lead swelled to double figures with two minutes remaining in the third.

But those two minutes saw the Hawks make serious inroads and left the game balanced at 68-66 heading to the final period.

The Breakers burst out of the blocks in the fourth on a 16-1 run, however, clinching the record and immediately casting their minds to next week's showdown with Perth.

"It's a series we haven't played well in so far and I know we want to make a change to that," Vickerman said. "I think a lot of people's minds will switch very quickly to that game."

Breakers 91 (Jackson 18, Henry 14, Abercrombie 11), Wollongong 74 (Deleon 24, Grant 10, Forman 10). HT: 49-43.

- Kris Shannon of APNZ

Add a Comment