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Sixers fire to hold off Breakers in thriller

18 Feb
3 mins read

Written By

Dale Fletcher

DJ Vasiljevic scores game-high 25 points as Adelaide 36ers defeat NZ Breakers 76-70 infront of eighth straight sold out crowd

Adelaide 36ers have finished their NBL24 campaign in style with an exciting 76-70 win against New Zealand Breakers at the Entertainment Centre on Sunday afternoon.

In front of and eighth straight sold-out crowd of 9513 fans, the 36ers survive a late rally from the Breakers to run out six-point winners.

Star guard DJ Vasiljevic was everywhere for the home side, scoring a game-high 25 points to go with a game-high 14 rebounds and four assists, while Isaac Humphries was huge in the second half for 15 points and six rebounds.

Jacob Wiley hauled in 11 rebounds, while Nick Marshall and Kyrin Galloway both had their moments with eight points each.

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Jason Cadee (five points, four rebounds) started for the injured Trey Kell (foot) and got the first score for the hosts as both sides started locked in at the defensive end, Adelaide keeping the visitors scoreless in the opening three minutes.

Galloway imposed himself at the hoop, blocking shots and scoring at the rim, his second sweet move gave Adelaide a 9-5 lead and Marshall also began well, scoring five early points.

Parker Jackson-Cartwright (24 points) sparked the Breakers, the import point guard scoring nine points in the opening 10 minutes, but a Cadee triple gave the 36ers a 17-14 lead at quarter time.

New Zealand started the second quarter with a 10-0 run as the 36ers took three minutes to score before Vasiljevic swished his first three-pointer.

Vasiljevic then scored the next seven points as the 36ers fought back into the contest, a spectacular effort from Marshall led to the hosts to reduce the Breakers’ lead to 33-32.

Will McDowell-White (14 points, five rebounds, three assists) took over in the second quarter for the Breakers, scoring 10 points as the Breakers, but Vasiljevic kept scoring, and when Mitch McCarron scored inside, Adelaide had the lead and took a 37-35 lead into the main interval.

Adelaide started the third quarter in style, Vasiljevic banked home a three-pointer and scored a tough lay-up before Humphries became a factor.

Humphries scored eight straight points, including a huge slam dunk which gave the hosts their biggest lead at 50-39.

Jackson-Cartwright then led the visitors back into the contest as the Breakers went on an 8-2 run to cut the 36ers lead to 53-47.

Humphries continued to dominate inside, scoring 10 points for the quarter, before the hosts scored back-to-back baskets from Wiley and when Vasiljevic swished another three-pointer, Adelaide took a 58-47 lead into the final 10 minutes.

Wiley opened the final stanza with a big alley-oop from McCarron, then Sunday Dech swished a three-pointer and Adelaide had a 16-point lead.

Humphries then connected on his first three-pointer of the season and brought the sold out crowd to their feet.

The Breakers, who had to win by six or more points to claim fourth spot, came storming back into the contest, going on a 16-3 run and when Jackson-Cartwright connected from downtown, the margin was 73-70.

But Adelaide held their nerve, clutch free throws from Vasiljevic, Dech, then Marshall sealing the game.

ADELAIDE 36ERS 76 (Vasiljevic 25, Humphries 15) def NEW ZEALAND BREAKERS 70 (Jackson-Cartwright 24, McDowell-White 14) at the Adelaide Entertainment Centre.

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