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Vasiljevic's final act lifts 36ers past Breakers

26 Oct
4 mins read

Written By

Dale Fletcher

Last quarter heroics from DJ sparks Adelaide 36ers to big win in Auckland

Adelaide 36ers boom recruit DJ Vasiljevic has scored 11 points in the final 10 minutes to lift his side to a 97-85 win against New Zealand Breakers at Spark Arena in Auckland on Thursday night.

Vasiljevic connected on three massive three-pointers in the last quarter as the 36ers outscored the Breakers 27-14 in the final stanza.

The 190cm guard scored a team-high 24 points to go with four rebounds and five assists and lead his side in the crunch moments.

Isaac Humphries continued his great form, scoring 17 points and hauling in 11 rebounds, while Jacob Wiley had 12 points and 13 rebounds in the 12-point success.

Anthony Lamb scored a game-high 25 points for the Breakers, who also had contributions from Finn Delany and Zylan Cheatham, with both added 17 points.

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Wiley started strongly, scoring the first two baskets for Adelaide, then finding Humphries underneath the hoop.

Vasiljevic then started to get involved, scoring five straight points as Adelaide took an early 11-9 lead.

But the Breakers took the lead after connecting on three of their first four shots from outside the three-point line.

A three-pointer from Sunday Dech (10 points) and four straight points from Tohi Smith-Milner kept the game on basket for basket as Cheatham scored 10 opening quarter points for the home side.

Trentyn Flowers ended the opening 10 minutes with a highlight slam dunk, but the Breakers held a 26-24 lead at the first break.

New Zealand started the second quarter on a 7-1 run as the home side opened to a 38-30 lead as the 36ers’ offense cooled off slightly.

Humphries started to assert himself under the basket, Vasiljevic and Trey Kell connected from downtown as Adelaide reduced the margin to 44-39.

Cheatham continued to cause problems, the import power forward scoring 12 points in the first half, as the home side continued to connect from the three-point line.

Vasiljevic and Humphries both scored 10 points each in the opening half as the Breakers took a 48-44 lead into the main interval.

Parker Jackson-Cartwright (16 points) started the second half with consecutive baskets, but the 36ers came roaring back into the contest. Kell with a lay-up to tie the game at 53-53.

Delany’s hot hand continued as Adelaide had several opportunities to take the lead, but the Breakers kept the advantage.

Humphries continued to be a force inside, then Flowers converted a three-point play and Jason Cadee iced two free throws as the 36ers cut the New Zealand lead to 71-70 with 10 minutes to play.

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Cheatham went down with a leg injury early in the final quarter and when Vasiljevic beat the shot clock from downtown, Adelaide had a 75-73 lead.

Wiley found an offensive rebound for a tough putback, then Dech connected on a three-pointer in transition as the 36ers held the biggest lead of the game at 80-73.

Vasiljevic then turned into matchwinner, scoring eight points in crunch time before New Zealand increased the defensive intensity, scoring two quick baskets to reduce the 36ers‘ lead to 92-83 with 90 seconds remaining.

Adelaide held strong, Cadee icing the game from the free throw line as the 36ers won a second game in six days, and will now prepare for another game on the road in Perth Against the Wildcats next Saturday.

ADELAIDE 36ERS 97 (Vasiljevic 24, Humphries 17, Wiley 12) def NEW ZEALAND BREAKERS 85 (Lamb 25, Cheatham 17, Delany 17) at Spark Arena, Auckland.

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