ANTHONY AU-YEUNG/GETTY IMAGES
Sek Henry led the the Breakers to a much-needed victory over the Illawarra Hawks on Saturday evening.
The Subsequent Stars lit up the evening properly at Spark Area on Saturday, but it surely was import lefty Sek Henry who emerged because the main mild for the Breakers in a much-needed Australian NBL victory.
With a trio of starters out injured, the undermanned Breakers dug deep – actually and figuratively – to safe a much-needed, streak-snapping 91-79 win over the Illawarra Hawks in entrance of one other large crowd of 8474 who packed the downtown Auckland area to witness the second instalment of RJ Hampton v LaMelo Ball.
The respective 18-year-old 2020 NBA Draft hopefuls didn’t disappoint, with each giving loads for his or her adoring followers, and watching NBA scouts, to smile about. Nevertheless it was very a lot Henry’s present as the house aspect rode house on a well-balanced contribution from their remaining match frontliners.
Henry completed with a season-best 25 factors for the Breakers (together with 11 straight within the remaining quarter) to lastly ship on the lofty popularity he introduced with him. He made 10 of his 17 photographs and Four of Eight from past the arc to offer the scoring thrust the Kiwi outfit wanted within the absence of the injured Corey Webster. He additionally added a trio of assists and two steals to finish a strong evening’s work.
Most significantly, the Breakers snapped their dropping streak at 5, improved to Three-Eight for the season (the Hawks sink to Three-9) and established a touch of momentum heading into subsequent weekend’s double towards Cairns (away) and Brisbane (house).
The Breakers additionally bought a robust exhibiting from Tall Blacks ahead Finn Delany who attacked properly off the dribble to complete with a season-best 20 factors (on 7 of 13 taking pictures) and 9 boards.
Hampton, too, produced a composed effort as he shook off the hype of his matchup towards Ball (the 2 teenage stars did not principally defend one another all evening) and did the job his staff required en path to 12 factors (Four/Eight FG), 5 rebounds and a pair of assists.
Brandon Ashley chipped in with a double-double of 10 factors and 14 rebounds, whereas Tom Abercrombie added 11 factors on Four-of-Eight taking pictures.
Ball, coming off the historic 32-point triple-double towards Cairns, was barely extra subdued on this one. However solely barely, as he completed with a second-straight triple-double of 25 factors (10/28 FG), 12 rebounds and 10 assists in one other show that showcased his undoubted class, in addition to belied his tender years.
Veteran David Andersen, who has been taking part in high hoops so long as Ball has been alive, supplied the chief assist for the Hawks with 15 factors at a gradual 6-of-10 clip.
The Breakers have been simply that bit slicker and faster than the surprisingly subdued Hawks as they made the requisite quick begin to lead 28-19 after the primary quarter and 50-38 on the main break.
With Corey Webster out with that sprained ankle, Scotty Hopson’s knee nonetheless less than big-time hoops and Rob Loe nursing his fractured cranium, the Kiwi outfit have been properly led by Delany’s 12 first-half factors on 5-of-7 taking pictures as they shot at a 54 per cent clip general and a strong 42 (5 of 12) from past the arc.
The Breakers stretched the result in 21 early within the third quarter when Barrett lifted the roof with a two-handed slam on the drive, although the Hawks dug in properly behind the rising affect of Ball to cut back the deficit to 10 (69-59 on the remaining break).
The guests bought as shut as two (71-69) early within the remaining stanza earlier than Henry took over, hitting a trio of triples after which sealing a scorching run with a steal and breakaway dunk to place the lid on a significant victory.
NZ Breakers 91 (Sek Henry 25, Finn Delany 20, RJ Hampton 12, Tom Abercrombie 11, Brandon Ashley 10), Illawarra Hawks 79 (LaMelo Ball 25, David Andersen 15, Sunday Dech 11, Tim Coenraad 10). 1Q: 28-19; HT: 50-38; 3Q: 69-59.