21 Apr 2012

Perth defeat Breakers, game three will decide NBL champions

10:59 am on 21 April 2012

The Perth Wildcats defeated the New Zealand Breakers 87-86 to level the National Basketball League Grand Final series at 1-1 in Perth Friday night after a typically tight battle which saw the lead traded on multiple occassions.

For the Breakers, CJ Bruton was dominant with 20 points at 63 per cent from long range, while centre Gary Wilkinson had 28 points, seven rebounds and five assists.

Tom Abercrombie was also back for the Breakers after injury forced him to sit out of game one.

For Perth it was a relentless team performance to deliver victory, Jesse Wagstaff and Kevin Lisch both scoring 15 points, Matt Knight 13 and Greg Hire and Shawn Redhage 12.

The Breakers took a 56-48 half-time lead but Perth came out strongly in the third quarter.

Defence dominated the final minutes of the game until Wilkinson unwittingly tipped the ball in the Wildcats basket to give them the lead, before an attempted game-winner from CJ Bruton was spectacularly blocked by Redhage.

The deciding game is on Tuesday at Auckland's Vector Arena.