Hurt Breakers stalk Melbourne Tigers

Dillon Boucher tries to deny the pass for Jesse Wagstaff during the Breakers loss to the Wildcats.
Dillon Boucher tries to deny the pass for Jesse Wagstaff during the Breakers loss to the Wildcats.
Cedric Jackson mulls the loss after the Wildcats defeated the Breakers in Perth.
Cedric Jackson mulls the loss after the Wildcats defeated the Breakers in Perth.
Alex Pledger pulls down a rebound in the regular season finale against the Wildcats.
Alex Pledger pulls down a rebound in the regular season finale against the Wildcats.
Dillon Boucher waves to Breakers fans for the last time ahead of the game with the Tigers.
Dillon Boucher waves to Breakers fans for the last time ahead of the game with the Tigers.
Tom Abercrombie soars high for one of his three alley-oops in the opening quarter of the win over Melbourne.
Tom Abercrombie soars high for one of his three alley-oops in the opening quarter of the win over Melbourne.
Reuben Te Rangi drives past Lucas Walker of the Tigers.
Reuben Te Rangi drives past Lucas Walker of the Tigers.
Tai (left) and Corey Webster enjoy some time on court together in the final quarter of the win over the Tigers.
Tai (left) and Corey Webster enjoy some time on court together in the final quarter of the win over the Tigers.
Christopher Goulding of the Tigers tries to block Dillon Boucher during their clash at the North Shore Events Centre.
Christopher Goulding of the Tigers tries to block Dillon Boucher during their clash at the North Shore Events Centre.
An injured Mika Vukona is helped off the court during the Breakers' clash with the Tigers.
An injured Mika Vukona is helped off the court during the Breakers' clash with the Tigers.
Cedric Jackson shares a hug with Dillon Boucher after the thrilling win over Cairns.
Cedric Jackson shares a hug with Dillon Boucher after the thrilling win over Cairns.
Mika Vukona of the Breakers lays the ball up.
Mika Vukona of the Breakers lays the ball up.
Mika Vukona goes after the ball against Cairns.
Mika Vukona goes after the ball against Cairns.
Tom Abercrombie of the Breakers hangs on the hoop after dunking the ball.
Tom Abercrombie of the Breakers hangs on the hoop after dunking the ball.
Breakers' Dillon Boucher celebrates the team's 13th straight win.
Breakers' Dillon Boucher celebrates the team's 13th straight win.
Tom Abercrombie slam dunks the ball.
Tom Abercrombie slam dunks the ball.
Breakers player Corey Webster scores a layup against the 36ers.
Breakers player Corey Webster scores a layup against the 36ers.
Breakers' Corey Webster takes on 36ers' Anthony Petrie.
Breakers' Corey Webster takes on 36ers' Anthony Petrie.
Tom Abercrombie shoots a jumper during the win over the Hawks.
Tom Abercrombie shoots a jumper during the win over the Hawks.
Dillon Boucher goes for a steal during the Breakers 92-84 win over the Wollongong Hawks.
Dillon Boucher goes for a steal during the Breakers 92-84 win over the Wollongong Hawks.
CJ Bruton entertains the crowd during a break in play.
CJ Bruton entertains the crowd during a break in play.
Cedric Jackson makes a pass around Oscar Forman of the Hawks.
Cedric Jackson makes a pass around Oscar Forman of the Hawks.
Mika Vukona celebrates a late basket with CJ Bruton.
Mika Vukona celebrates a late basket with CJ Bruton.
Tom Abercrombie takes a jump shot during the game against the Hawks.
Tom Abercrombie takes a jump shot during the game against the Hawks.
Cedric Jackson shoots under pressure from Wollongong Hawks players.
Cedric Jackson shoots under pressure from Wollongong Hawks players.
Jeremiah Trueman of the Wildcats and Alex Pledger of the Breakers compete for the ball.
Jeremiah Trueman of the Wildcats and Alex Pledger of the Breakers compete for the ball.
Corey Webster shoots over Kevin Lisch on his way to a career high 14 points.
Corey Webster shoots over Kevin Lisch on his way to a career high 14 points.
Cedric Jackson lays the ball up over Perth's Matt Knight.
Cedric Jackson lays the ball up over Perth's Matt Knight.
Tom Abercrombie loses a shoe as he goes for a dunk over Greg Hire.
Tom Abercrombie loses a shoe as he goes for a dunk over Greg Hire.
CJ Bruton celebrates a three pointer.
CJ Bruton celebrates a three pointer.
Daryl Corletto nails a three on his way to 14 points in the first four minutes against the Kings.
Daryl Corletto nails a three on his way to 14 points in the first four minutes against the Kings.
Mika Vukona goes for the easy lay-up.
Mika Vukona goes for the easy lay-up.
Tom Abercrombie goes up for a dunk as James Harvey of the Kings looks on.
Tom Abercrombie goes up for a dunk as James Harvey of the Kings looks on.
Daryl Corletto and Dillon Boucher celebrate the Breakers' hot start against the Kings.
Daryl Corletto and Dillon Boucher celebrate the Breakers' hot start against the Kings.
Tom Abercrombie completes an alley-oop pass from Cedric Jackson during the heritage game against the Hawks.
Tom Abercrombie completes an alley-oop pass from Cedric Jackson during the heritage game against the Hawks.
Dillon Boucher, a member of the original Breakers side, looks for a pass during the heritage game.
Dillon Boucher, a member of the original Breakers side, looks for a pass during the heritage game.
Mika Vukona protects the ball from Hawks players Tyson Demos and Oscar Forman.
Mika Vukona protects the ball from Hawks players Tyson Demos and Oscar Forman.
Will Hudson blocks Hawks guard Adris Deleon.
Will Hudson blocks Hawks guard Adris Deleon.
Will Hudson attempts a block on Crocs player Michael Cedar.
Will Hudson attempts a block on Crocs player Michael Cedar.
Leon Henry celebrates his double three-pointers at the end of the third quarter against the Crocs with teammate Mika Vukona.
Leon Henry celebrates his double three-pointers at the end of the third quarter against the Crocs with teammate Mika Vukona.
Cedric Jackson goes up for a lay-up during the Breakers away win over Townsville.
Cedric Jackson goes up for a lay-up during the Breakers away win over Townsville.
Breakers and 36ers players dive on a loose ball.
Breakers and 36ers players dive on a loose ball.
Mika Vukona guards Adelaide's Dan Johnson.
Mika Vukona guards Adelaide's Dan Johnson.
Adelaide's Luke Schencher protects the ball as CJ Bruton, Dillon Boucher and Will Hudson close in.
Adelaide's Luke Schencher protects the ball as CJ Bruton, Dillon Boucher and Will Hudson close in.
Cedric Jackson goes up for two of his NBL career-high 32 points against the Taipans.
Cedric Jackson goes up for two of his NBL career-high 32 points against the Taipans.
Mika Vukona chases a loose ball during the Breakers win over the Taipans.
Mika Vukona chases a loose ball during the Breakers win over the Taipans.
Tom Abercrombie floats a ball over Brad Hill of the Taipans.
Tom Abercrombie floats a ball over Brad Hill of the Taipans.
Dillon Boucher sticks close to Dusty Rychart of the Taipans during the Breakers' 97-76 win.
Dillon Boucher sticks close to Dusty Rychart of the Taipans during the Breakers' 97-76 win.
Alex Pledger pulls down a rebound against the Taipans.
Alex Pledger pulls down a rebound against the Taipans.
Tom Abercrombie of New Zealand (L) and Seth Scott of Melbourne compete for the ball.
Tom Abercrombie of New Zealand (L) and Seth Scott of Melbourne compete for the ball.
Will Hudson of the Breakers during the round nine NBL match between the New Zealand Breakers and the Melbourne Tigers.
Will Hudson of the Breakers during the round nine NBL match between the New Zealand Breakers and the Melbourne Tigers.
Cedric Jackson of the Breakers collects the rebound during the round nine NBL match between the New Zealand Breakers and the Melbourne Tigers.
Cedric Jackson of the Breakers collects the rebound during the round nine NBL match between the New Zealand Breakers and the Melbourne Tigers.
Cory Webster of the Breakers takes a shot against Melbourne.
Cory Webster of the Breakers takes a shot against Melbourne.
Dillon Boucher celebrates during the Breakers win over the Townsville Crocodiles.
Dillon Boucher celebrates during the Breakers win over the Townsville Crocodiles.
Cedric Jackson on the ball for the Breakers.
Cedric Jackson on the ball for the Breakers.
CJ Bruton barks out some orders to team-mates.
CJ Bruton barks out some orders to team-mates.
Tai Webster takes the ball to the hoop.
Tai Webster takes the ball to the hoop.
Tom Abercombie throws down a slam dunk.
Tom Abercombie throws down a slam dunk.
Cedric Jackson of the Breakers looks to drive past Larry Abney of the Crocodiles.
Cedric Jackson of the Breakers looks to drive past Larry Abney of the Crocodiles.
Daryl Corletto of the Breakers drives past Jacob Holmes of the Crocodiles.
Daryl Corletto of the Breakers drives past Jacob Holmes of the Crocodiles.
Russell Hinder of the Crocodiles attmpts to drive past Alex Pledger of the Breakers.
Russell Hinder of the Crocodiles attmpts to drive past Alex Pledger of the Breakers.
Mika Vukona shoots the match-winning three-pointer against the Sydney Kings.
Mika Vukona shoots the match-winning three-pointer against the Sydney Kings.
Tom Abercrombie goes for the block on Kings' Tom Garlepp.
Tom Abercrombie goes for the block on Kings' Tom Garlepp.
Cedric Jackson with the ball for the Breakers.
Cedric Jackson with the ball for the Breakers.
Daryl Corletto the ball up for the Breakers.
Daryl Corletto the ball up for the Breakers.
Cedric Jackson collides with Corin Henry of the Sydney Kings.
Cedric Jackson collides with Corin Henry of the Sydney Kings.
Cedric Jackson of the Breakers rides the shoulders of Jacob Holmes of the Crocs.
Cedric Jackson of the Breakers rides the shoulders of Jacob Holmes of the Crocs.
Gary Ervin lays up a shot for the Crocs as Alex Pledger attempts a block.
Gary Ervin lays up a shot for the Crocs as Alex Pledger attempts a block.
Breakers' Mika Vukona drives against Crocs' Jacob Holmes.
Breakers' Mika Vukona drives against Crocs' Jacob Holmes.
Mika Vukona under pressure from Jacob Holmes.
Mika Vukona under pressure from Jacob Holmes.
Stephen Weigh of Adelaide makes a break during the round two NBL match between the New Zealand Breakers and the Adelaide 36ers.
Stephen Weigh of Adelaide makes a break during the round two NBL match between the New Zealand Breakers and the Adelaide 36ers.
Will Hudson of the Breakers dunks the ball during the round two NBL match between the New Zealand Breakers and the Adelaide 36ers.
Will Hudson of the Breakers dunks the ball during the round two NBL match between the New Zealand Breakers and the Adelaide 36ers.
Dillon Boucher and Tom Abercrombie of the Breakers compete with Anthony Petrie and Daniel Johnson of Adelaide.
Dillon Boucher and Tom Abercrombie of the Breakers compete with Anthony Petrie and Daniel Johnson of Adelaide.
Jason Cadee of Adelaide competes with Daryl Corletto of the Breakers.
Jason Cadee of Adelaide competes with Daryl Corletto of the Breakers.
lex Pledger of the Breakers competes with Matthew Knight of the Wildcats during the round one NBL match between the New Zealand Breakers and the Perth Wildcats.
lex Pledger of the Breakers competes with Matthew Knight of the Wildcats during the round one NBL match between the New Zealand Breakers and the Perth Wildcats.
Mika Vukona of the Breakers drives passed Shawn Redhage of the Wildcats.
Mika Vukona of the Breakers drives passed Shawn Redhage of the Wildcats.
 Tom Abercrombie, CJ Bruton and Dillon Boucher of the Breakers look on during the round one NBL match between the New Zealand Breakers and the Perth Wildcats.
Tom Abercrombie, CJ Bruton and Dillon Boucher of the Breakers look on during the round one NBL match between the New Zealand Breakers and the Perth Wildcats.
Damian Martin of the Wildcats gets around CJ Bruton of the Breakers.
Damian Martin of the Wildcats gets around CJ Bruton of the Breakers.

The last time the New Zealand Breakers got pantsed by the Perth Wildcats they rattled off seven straight victories by way of a response.

Second time round, coach Andrej Lemanis is looking for a similar response from a group of players too proud not to come out firing, starting with the Melbourne Tigers at the North Shore Events Centre on Friday.

Lemanis was certainly not pushing any panic buttons in the wake of a second straight thumping by the Wildcats. In week one at the NSEC they embarrassed his team 93-72, and on Thursday night in front of more than 11,000 fans at the new Perth Arena, they inflicted a depressingly similar 89-64 butt-kicking.

Some are suggesting that the Cats have the Breakers' number this year, and it's hard to argue against that so far. But the 7-2 Breakers still have their noses in front of the 4-3 Cats, who snapped a three-game losing skid with their first victory at their massive new arena.

"We've only lost twice," Lemanis said yesterday. "The first time we had a great week of practice and the response was pretty good. The history with the core of this group is they respond well to disappointment and poor performance.

"I expect a good week of practice and to come out and play well on Friday."

Lemanis, though, was not concerned that his back-to-back champions had suffered two such comprehensive defeats to the same opponent. Circumstances had made the Cats highly motivated for both clashes, and the Breakers had taken their rivals' best shots.

"The history with us and Perth is we've put them out of the playoffs the last two years, so it's not like there's a trend that says we can't beat them. The most important thing for us now is to come out and play well against Melbourne.

"There's still a good confidence in the group. We still control a lot of our own destiny. It's not like the games we've lost we've come out and played fantastic and lost to a better team.

"We've had a lot to do with our own demise. We're still confident as long as we come out and play to our best ability we're going to have the chance to win games."

Lemanis wasn't keen to dwell too much on Perth where he conceded "we didn't compete in the effort areas". He also acknowledged that the travel and midnight (NZ time) tipoff had contributed to a general flatness that's become a trend in the first trip of the season to the wild west.

But at least been some positives off the bench. Will Hudson shrugged off his sore ankle to pick up 12 points and five boards, Corey Webster went five-for-10 en route to 11 points, and Leon Henry snared five rebounds in an aggressive display.

Now it's the Tigers on the radar and former NBA top-10 draft pick Jonny Flynn. "He's given them a new lease of life, and some confidence as well," Lemanis said.

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