Breakers earn comeback win

Breakers guard Edgar Sosa lays the ball up on Kings big man Perry Ellis. Photo: Getty Images
Breakers guard Edgar Sosa lays the ball up on Kings big man Perry Ellis. Photo: Getty Images
The New Zealand Breakers have turned the tables, with a second-half comeback against the Sydney Kings snapping their ANBL slump.

Not only was their 99-95 victory a change in their recent form, which had seen them lose four of their last five games, but it was also a reversal of their last fixture, where they blew a big fourth-quarter lead to the Adelaide 36ers.

This time, it was the Breakers overcoming a deficit, coming from 10 points down in the second half to eventually seal a tense win which came down to the final seconds.

This is unlikely to be a victory which pivots the Breakers' season back to their prior winning streak - Sydney are still a team with several problems – but Paul Henare's side showed improved signs and could be back on level footing with the Perth Wildcats at the top of the ladder by the end of the weekend.

Alternatively, the Kings' season is done at 4-13, but they have improved of late under new imports Jeremy Tyler and Jerome Randle.

It was those recruits who gave them the early advantage, with the Kings' trio of imports feasting on a mix of open and contested jumpers to give the hosts an early 14-6 lead. While the Breakers immediately went on a 10-0 run to re-take the lead, they continued to struggle guarding the Kings' main threats.

To be fair, neither side was defending well, in a high-scoring first half. Part of that was due to some impressive offence, with few turnovers being coughed up, but there were also periods where defensive intensity was lacking as both sides racked up easy baskets.

The Kings did have the edge though, with Tyler proving problematic to guard as he stepped outside to knock down mid-range jumpers. The entertaining Jason Cadee chipped in with 11 points off the bench, and the Kings had grafted a double-digit lead with half-time approaching.

The Breakers did manage to cut that advantage in half by the interval, with Rob Loe providing a needed bench boost. Loe hit two threes as the visitors launched 18 first-half triples; hitting just enough of them to stay in touch in the high-tempo encounter.

The undulating nature of the clash continued in the second half. Sydney rapidly built a 10-point buffer, but once again the Breakers answered with their own 10-0 run. The Kings' defensive errors manifested, with Edgar Sosa (21 points) and Loe (a career-high 24) taking full advantage.

Abruptly, the Breakers had turned a sizeable deficit into a handy lead, and were up nine with two minutes remaining. However, they've proven this season that nothing comes easy, and Sydney came back to within two in the dying seconds.

As time ticked away, Sosa stepped up, hitting two free throws to deny any late Sydney heroics, and ensure the Breakers would be back to winning ways.

Breakers 99 (Loe 24, Sosa 21)
Kings 95 (Tyler 23, Randle 20)
HT: 43-48

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