10 Nov 2018

Breakers too good for Taipans

5:31 am on 10 November 2018

The New Zealand Breakers have handed the Cairns Taipans their fifth straight loss in the Australian National Basketball League.

The Breakers won 104-81 in Auckland.

Breakers player Patrick Richard.

Breakers player Patrick Richard. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Both teams battled defensively, but the sixth-placed Breakers - despite missing US import Armani Moore to a finger injury - were too strong and too accurate on offence.

In their most consistent match of the season, the Kiwis led every quarter, fronted by the twin strike force of Corey Webster - who sunk a game-high 25 points - and Patrick Richard (21).

For the Taipans, point guard Melo Trimble was tireless, top-scoring with 23, but received little support with only former Breakers guard DJ Newbill (11) and forward Kuany Kuany (10) reaching double figures.

Cairns now haven't registered a win since their first-round 88-70 victory over the Brisbane Bullets.

The Breakers, who faded badly in last week's 92-78 loss to Perth, started with a hiss and a roar.

Back-to-back three pointers from Webster, and another from Richard, opened up a 15-4 lead after five minutes.

Shawn Long added another trey, the Breakers stretching to a 30-18 lead before Trimble hit back with a three right on on the buzzer to cut the home team's lead to 30-21 at the first break.

Dexter Kernich-Drew continued the Taipans' resurgence at the restart, draining another three to set the visitors on a run which reduced the Breakers' advantage to just one barely three minutes into the second quarter.

But while the Breakers offered plenty of variation on offence, Cairns relied heavily on Melo Trimble and former Breakers swingman DJ Newbill, and the Kiwis capitalised to take a 57-45 lead into halftime.

The New Zealanders dominated the third quarter, outscoring the Taipans 25-12 to lead 82-57 at the last break, and although Cairns edged the final spell 24-22, the final result was never in doubt.

Breakers coach Kevin Braswell was happy to see his team finally deliver a consistent effort across four quarters.

"You get a new team, and it takes time. These guys are now starting to build confidence in each other, starting to understand each other a little bit better week by week," he said.

However, Braswell realised there was still room for improvement defensively.

"The way we're playing, and going up and down, we're going to let teams score sometimes, but we've got to have a little bit of pride on the defensive end."