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Breakers cling on to beat Adelaide 36ers for seventh away win in Australian NBL

Izayah Le'Afa of the Breakers competes with Sunday Dech of the 36ers.

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Izayah Le’Afa of the Breakers competes with Sunday Dech of the 36ers.

At Adelaide Entertainment Centre: New Zealand Breakers 85 (Barry Brown 16, Jamaal Brantley 15, Izayah Le’Afa 13) Adelaide 36ers 83 (Robert Franks 20, Antonius Cleveland 18, Ian Clark 16, Kai Sotto 16). QT: 19-15, HT: 45-38, 3 QT: 68-63.

New Zealand Breakers clung on for their seventh win on the road this season, in an Australian NBL cliffhanger in Adelaide on Sunday.

The visitors led 85-83 with the seconds ticking down and a sellout crowd roaring. The hosts had the chance to win it, too, but Ian Clark’s three-point attempt didn’t drop.

Dererk Pardon grabbed the rebound and ensured the second-placed Breakers secured their 13th win from 19, over the fourth-placed 36ers.

It was the Breakers’ second straight victory, which followed a three-game losing streak, and set them up nicely amid an intense stretch of four games in eight days.

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They head to Perth to take on the Wildcats on Tuesday, before returning to Christchurch to host Melbourne United on Thursday then the Taipans in Auckland next Sunday.

Five Breakers scored double figures, with Barry Brown again leading the way with 16 points. Will McDowell-White was a key presence, scoring 10 points and chipping in with five rebounds and seven assists.

Sky Sports

The Kiwi backcourter has been a key addition to the club for the 2022-23 Australian NBL season.

With the Adelaide Entertainment Center selling out for a third successive match – and in front of a new Sixers record home crowd of 9368 – the Breakers led at every change and by nine points inside the last two minutes before Adelaide charged to the line.

Robert Franks’ three-point play was followed by back-to-back Antonius Cleveland buckets, including a sensational coast-to-coast slam where he blew past Brown, reducing the gap to one point.

When Franks secured a powerful defensive rebound from Jarrell Brantley’s miss with 14 seconds left, the last possession was the 36ers’, but Clark’s triple for the lead fell short.

Brown got the wheels in motion for the Breakers early and led an even charge for the visitors.

Franks (20 points, 13 rebounds), Cleveland (18), Kai Sotto (16) and Clark (16) were lion-hearted for the Sixers, who were left to rue a whopping 23 turnovers.

Behind some typically brawny defense, NZ held sway 19-15 at the first break and 45-38 at halftime with Adelaide, with just two first-half assists, playing what NBL legend and commentator Andrew Gaze described as a “no-pass offense” .

– With AAP

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