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Breakers win seventh straight NBL match
06:20 AEST Sat Nov 17 2012

The New Zealand Breakers picked up their seventh straight NBL win, heaping more misery on the Townsville Crocodiles with a 93-63 blow-out at Auckland's Vector Arena on Friday.

The defending champions' offensive struggles disappeared as they registered their highest score of the season, shooting 48 per cent from the floor and 12-of-25 from beyond the arc.

"We always knew that was going to happen," Breakers coach Andrej Lemanis told reporters after the game.

"We had been getting those looks we've just got to knock them down and we're just starting to understand how to play together and we kept our foot on the throat."

Big man Alex Pledger top-scored with a career-high equalling 18 points to go with seven boards, earning high praise from his coach.

"When he plays big and is allowed to play big he can be the most dominant player in the league.

"He's got not only the size, but he's got the mobility and the skill level and he can run, catch and do all those things and that is a real asset to this group."

Elsewhere, Tom Abercrombie had one of his best efforts of the season with 16 points and veteran guard CJ Bruton also featured in the scoring with 15.

While the scoring was impressive Lemanis was quick to point out the defensive effort, particularly in the middle quarters.

"I thought our defence was pretty stifling," he said.

"I thought we disrupted them, we challenged shots. We followed scouts well and keeping them to eight in the second and 13 in the third quarter was very pleasing."

As a result only three Crocs scored in double figures with Larry Abney and Ben Allen each getting 11 points, while Gary Ervin added 10 points as they slumped to 0-9.

The home team started strongly thanks to eight early points from Pledger, including some impressive open court finishes, but Peter Crawford's contested three-pointer put the Crocs up 15-14.

The Breakers got the rub of the green in a high-scoring first quarter, however, and their ability to get to the line gave them a 31-21 edge after 10 minutes.

The Crocs shot at 75 per cent in the first quarter, but were unable to maintain it in the second as they went five minutes without a score.

On the other hand, the Breakers began to find their offensive rhythm with Jackson and Abercrombie combining for some attractive plays to give them a 50-29 halftime lead.

A 9-0 Breakers run early in the third virtually buried the Crocs as Abercrombie hit consecutive threes set up by Jackson.

Bruton then nailed two more triples and New Zealand were cruising, in front 79-42 heading into the last.

There was concern early in the quarter as Crocs guard Mitch Norton hobbled from the floor after being hit hard by Pledger.


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