Breakers romp past inept Adelaide 36ers

11:56, Mar 02 2013
Breakers vs 36ers
Dillon Boucher and Tom Abercrombie of the Breakers compete with Anthony Petrie and Daniel Johnson of Adelaide.
Breakers vs 36ers
Jason Cadee of Adelaide competes with Daryl Corletto of the Breakers.
Breakers vs 36ers
Will Hudson of the Breakers dunks the ball during the round two NBL match between the New Zealand Breakers and the Adelaide 36ers.
Breakers vs 36ers
Stephen Weigh of Adelaide makes a break during the round two NBL match between the New Zealand Breakers and the Adelaide 36ers.
Breakers vs 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.
Breakers vs Wildcats
Mika Vukona of the Breakers drives passed Shawn Redhage of the Wildcats.
Breakers vs 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.
Breakers vs Wildcats
Damian Martin of the Wildcats gets around CJ Bruton of the Breakers.
Breakers
Breakers' Mika Vukona drives against Crocs' Jacob Holmes.
Breakers
Mika Vukona under pressure from Jacob Holmes.
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.
Breakers
Gary Ervin lays up a shot for the Crocs as Alex Pledger attempts a block.
Tom Abercrombie
Tom Abercrombie goes for the block on Kings' Tom Garlepp.
Cedric Jackson
Cedric Jackson with the ball for the Breakers.
Daryl Corletto
Daryl Corletto the ball up for the Breakers.
Cedric Jackson
Cedric Jackson collides with Corin Henry of the Sydney Kings.
Mika Vukona
Mika Vukona shoots the match-winning three-pointer against the Sydney Kings.
Breakers vs Crocs
Cedric Jackson of the Breakers looks to drive past Larry Abney of the Crocodiles.
Breakers vs Crocs
Daryl Corletto of the Breakers drives past Jacob Holmes of the Crocodiles.
Breakers vs Crocs
Russell Hinder of the Crocodiles attmpts to drive past Alex Pledger of the Breakers.
CJ Bruton
CJ Bruton barks out some orders to team-mates.
Cedric Jackson
Cedric Jackson on the ball for the Breakers.
Dillon Boucher
Dillon Boucher celebrates during the Breakers win over the Townsville Crocodiles.
Tom Abercombie
Tom Abercombie throws down a slam dunk.
Tai Webster
Tai Webster takes the ball to the hoop.
Breakers vs Melbourne
Tom Abercrombie of New Zealand (L) and Seth Scott of Melbourne compete for the ball.
Breakers vs Melbourne
Will Hudson of the Breakers during the round nine NBL match between the New Zealand Breakers and the Melbourne Tigers.
Breakers vs Melbourne
Cedric Jackson of the Breakers collects the rebound during the round nine NBL match between the New Zealand Breakers and the Melbourne Tigers.
Breakers vs Melbourne
Cory Webster of the Breakers takes a shot against Melbourne.
Breakers v Taipans
Cedric Jackson goes up for two of his NBL career-high 32 points against the Taipans.
Breakers v Taipans
Mika Vukona chases a loose ball during the Breakers win over the Taipans.
Breakers v Taipans
Tom Abercrombie floats a ball over Brad Hill of the Taipans.
Breakers v Taipans
Alex Pledger pulls down a rebound against the Taipans.
Breakers v Taipans
Dillon Boucher sticks close to Dusty Rychart of the Taipans during the Breakers' 97-76 win.
NZ Breakers
Adelaide's Luke Schencher protects the ball as CJ Bruton, Dillon Boucher and Will Hudson close in.
NZ Breakers
Mika Vukona guards Adelaide's Dan Johnson.
NZ Breakers
Cedric Jackson goes up for a lay-up during the Breakers away win over Townsville.
NZ Breakers
Breakers and 36ers players dive on a loose ball.
NZ Breakers
Will Hudson attempts a block on Crocs player Michael Cedar.
NZ Breakers
Leon Henry celebrates his double three-pointers at the end of the third quarter against the Crocs with teammate Mika Vukona.
NZ Breakers
Mika Vukona protects the ball from Hawks players Tyson Demos and Oscar Forman.
NZ Breakers
Tom Abercrombie completes an alley-oop pass from Cedric Jackson during the heritage game against the Hawks.
NZ Breakers
Dillon Boucher, a member of the original Breakers side, looks for a pass during the heritage game.
NZ Breakers
Will Hudson blocks Hawks guard Adris Deleon.
Breakers v Kings
Tom Abercrombie goes up for a dunk as James Harvey of the Kings looks on.
Breakers v Kings
Daryl Corletto and Dillon Boucher celebrate the Breakers' hot start against the Kings.
Breakers v Kings
Mika Vukona goes for the easy lay-up.
Breakers v Kings
Daryl Corletto nails a three on his way to 14 points in the first four minutes against the Kings.
Breakers v Perth
Corey Webster shoots over Kevin Lisch on his way to a career high 14 points.
Breakers v Perth
CJ Bruton celebrates a three pointer.
Breakers v Perth
Cedric Jackson lays the ball up over Perth's Matt Knight.
Breakers v Perth
Tom Abercrombie loses a shoe as he goes for a dunk over Greg Hire.
Breakers v Perth
Jeremiah Trueman of the Wildcats and Alex Pledger of the Breakers compete for the ball.
Breakers
Mika Vukona celebrates a late basket with CJ Bruton.
Breakers
Dillon Boucher goes for a steal during the Breakers 92-84 win over the Wollongong Hawks.
Breakers
Tom Abercrombie takes a jump shot during the game against the Hawks.
Breakers
Cedric Jackson shoots under pressure from Wollongong Hawks players.
Breakers v Hawks
Cedric Jackson makes a pass around Oscar Forman of the Hawks.
Breakers v Hawks
Tom Abercrombie shoots a jumper during the win over the Hawks.
Breakers v Hawks
CJ Bruton entertains the crowd during a break in play.
Breakers vs 36ers
Breakers player Corey Webster scores a layup against the 36ers.
Breakers vs 36ers
Tom Abercrombie slam dunks the ball.
Breakers vs 36ers
Breakers' Mika Vukona drives at 36ers' Stephen Weigh.
Breakers vs 36ers
Breakers' Corey Webster takes on 36ers' Anthony Petrie.
Breakers vs 36ers
Breakers' Dillon Boucher celebrates the team's 13th straight win.
Breakers vs Cairns
Tom Abercrombie of the Breakers hangs on the hoop after dunking the ball.
Breakers vs Cairns
Mika Vukona goes after the ball against Cairns.
Breakers vs Cairns
Cedric Jackson shares a hug with Dillon Boucher after the thrilling win over Cairns.
Breakers vs Cairns
Mika Vukona of the Breakers lays the ball up.
Breakers 2012-2013 season photos
An injured Mika Vukona is helped off the court during the Breakers' clash with the Tigers.
Breakers 2012-2013 season photos
Dillon Boucher waves to Breakers fans for the last time ahead of the game with the Tigers.
Breakers 2012-2013 season photos
Christopher Goulding of the Tigers tries to block Dillon Boucher during their clash at the North Shore Events Centre.
Breakers v Tigers
Tai (left) and Corey Webster enjoy some time on court together in the final quarter of the win over the Tigers.
Breakers v Tigers
Reuben Te Rangi drives past Lucas Walker of the Tigers.
Breakers v Tigers
Tom Abercrombie soars high for one of his three alley-oops in the opening quarter of the win over Melbourne.
Breakers v Wildcats
Alex Pledger pulls down a rebound in the regular season finale against the Wildcats.
Breakers v Wildcats
Cedric Jackson mulls the loss after the Wildcats defeated the Breakers in Perth.
Breakers v Wildcats
Dillon Boucher tries to deny the pass for Jesse Wagstaff during the Breakers loss to the Wildcats.

It was Mika Vukona's night, but his mates were more than happy to join in the celebrations as the New Zealand Breakers show rolled on at Vector Arena.

Vukona reckoned beforehand he didn't much care for the significance of his 200th Australian NBL game for the Auckland-based club. It was all about getting the win, said the warrior power forward, and taking another stride towards that all important top spot at the end of the regular season.

Well, his team obliged splendidly as they shook off a 13-day stretch between games and put the serious hurt on an Adelaide 36ers side that was woefully outmatched, and outplayed to the tune of 104-79.

Tom Abercrombie
DUNK: Tom Abercrombie of the Breakers dunks the ball.

The victory marked the night's two major achievements in fitting fashion, as Vukona not only brought up the double-ton but coach Andrej Lemanis made it 250 games as head coach - becoming just the fifth in league history to achieve the feat at one organisation.

The victory also extends two significant streaks for the back-to-back league champions whose record now stands at an imposing 21-3 with just four regular season games remaining.

It improves their NBL winning run to 13 on the bounce, and is their 15th straight over the 36ers in a streak that stretches all the way back to round three of the 2009-10 season. It also improves their home record to 11-1.

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The 36ers, on the other hand, now have no hope of an unlikely surge into the playoffs as their record drops to 8-17. A team that promised so much at season's start are now history.

Vukona, as he does, led from the front with 11 points (5/7 FG), five boards and seven assists, but he had all sorts of help on a night when six Breakers hit double-figures and the champs broke 100 for the first time this campaign. Their total was also the highest in regulation in the league this season.

Ced Jackson led the way with a polished 18 points (7/13 FG), four boards, two assists and two steals, while Tom Abercrombie showed real signs of an elevation in his game as he added a slick 16 points on seven-of-12 shooting to go with four rebounds.

But they all had a say. CJ Bruton went a perfect four-of-four from the floor and three-for-three from deep for his 11 points, Daryl Corletto missed just three shots in his 15-point haul and Corey Webster added 11 points in 16 minutes off the bench.

Even big Alex Pledger, who didn't have the best of nights, still had nine points and a game-high 10 boards.

The Breakers shot a red-hot 62 percent from the floor and 48 from deep and were never really pushed in a romp that was over early in the third quarter. It was impressive stuff from a side with its eye very much on the ball as they close in on a title threepeat.

"The second quarter (where the 36ers outscored the Breakers 31-23) was too much. I thought our defence went in and out," said Lemanis afterwards.

"But apart from that stretch I was pretty pleased with how we played, particularly coming off a two-week break. You're always concerned about the rust that's in the system and the rhythm, and that showed a little bit in the first half.

"But we were able to play our way out if it. We were very efficient offensively - to score at 62 percent from the field, 71 from two-point range and 48 from threes was good for us.

"There were a lot of good signs just to work our way back into it. We won the rebounding again. So from that point of view coming off a two-week break it was pretty pleasing."

The Breakers led 51-46 at halftime, but would probably have been kicking themselves that their advantage wasn't a lot more momentous.

The hosts had things mostly their own way in the opening period, shooting at a red-hot clip (11/19 FG) as they streaked to a 28-15 lead on the back of strong early showings from Corletto and Vukona.

But just when the game looked to be slipping out of the visitors' grasp, Boomers guard Adam Gibson stroked a trio of triples among 11 straight points as the 36ers went on a 13-3 run to cut the deficit to a more manageable five by the major break.

Clearly Lemanis said something pretty telling over the halftime break, as his team came out in the third period and put the game on ice with a 30-12 quarter, fuelled by blistering starts from Jackson and Abercrombie whose series of spectacular plays culminated in an elbows-on-the-rim alley-oop from the point guard to the high-flying forward.

From there it was all about entertaining the sellout crowd of 8500 to the end. Judging by the smiles on the faces afterwards, the Breakers achieved even that.

NZ Breakers 104 (Cedric Jackson 18, Tom Abercrombie 16, Daryl Corletto 15, Mika Vukona 11, CJ Bruton 11, Corey Webster 11), Adelaide 36ers 79 (Anthony Petrie 16, Adam Gibson 15, Stephen Weigh 15, Daniel Johnson 15). 1Q: 28-15; HT: 51-46; 3Q: 81-58.

Fairfax Media