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Breakers thump arch NBL rivals Perth
20:42 AEST Fri Feb 1 2013

The New Zealand Breakers stamped themselves as favourites to win a third successive NBL title with a 98-81 humbling of the Perth Wildcats in Auckland.

An outstanding offensive display led by Cedric Jackson on Friday carried the Breakers clear of their arch rivals and avenged their two heavy losses from earlier this season.

It was a third lop-sided contest between the league's two leading sides, with the Breakers having gone down 93-72 in round one in Auckland and 89-64 in round eight in Perth.

The two-time defending champions notched a 10th straight win to improve their record to 18-3 while Perth's first loss in six games saw them drop to 13-5, still well clear of the third-placed Sydney Kings (10-10).

A dominant second quarter set the tone for the Breakers, who trailed 14-2 in the opening minutes and 24-18 after the first quarter.

The hosts then found their offensive fluency and their range from the three-point line, sparked once again by outstanding point guard Jackson, who carried them 52-42 clear at halftime.

The lead was extended to 81-61 with a quarter remaining, allowing the Breakers to coast over the final stanza in front of a sold-out crowd of 9200.

Jackson again topped the Breakers' scoring with 22 points, supported by 14 each to fellow guards Corey Webster and CJ Bruton.

Jackson produced five steals, eight assists and five rebounds, even though his playing time was reduced to 30 minutes due to foul trouble.

Perth had nobody to match that, with Matt Knight (16) and Jessie Wagstaff (14) leading their scoring.

The Breakers had been dominated in the rebounding by the Wildcats in their previous games but forward Will Hudson helped establish a dominance there while 14 three-pointers from 28 attempts was an influential statistic for the winners.

Veteran Bruton sent a warning to the league that the Breakers were still searching for their best form.

"Definitely we're not peaking. We're nowhere near where we need to be right now," Bruton said.

"We still have our lapses like every team, we're happy to come away with wins because of our defence."

Knight said the Wildcats were prepared for a bruising encounter but couldn't match the hosts where it counted.

"They just got too physical with us and we didn't match it with them. They got on a run, we couldn't stop it, they're a tough team here," he said.

"They've got to come back to our place, hopefully game four is in our favour."


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