19 Nov 2018

Breakers suffer second straight loss

5:44 am on 19 November 2018

The Breakers have been well beaten 100-87 by the Sydney Kings in their Australian National Basketball League game across the Tasman.

Breakers coach Kevin Braswell.

Breakers coach Kevin Braswell. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

In easily his best effort of the year, former NBA player Andrew Bogut registered 17 points, ten rebounds, and seven assists - and even had five blocks - to almost flirt with a triple double for the Kings.

It was a tired looking New Zealand outfit who were coming off a loss in Invercargill to Melbourne United on Friday.

The battle of big men between Bogut and New Zealand's Shawn Long made the game worth watching on its own. Long finished with 25 points, eight rebounds and three assists.

Sydney go to a 5-3 record to stay third on the ladder, while the Breakers drop to 4-5.

"They (Kings) played exceptionally well," Breakers coach Kevin Braswell said.

"We gave them a lot of confidence by giving them a lot of lay-ups in the first quarter.

"We've made some strides in the last few weeks but our group is new and still getting to know each other."

Braswell believes the Kings should now be considered alongside the Wildcats and United as championship material.

"They're definitely title contenders," he said.

"Melbourne won it last year, and Sydney made a lot of changes. They're a really good team, and Perth has been really consistent."

Breakers coach Kevin Braswell.

Breakers coach Kevin Braswell. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Kings coach Andrew Gaze admitted it was the coaching staff at fault for failing to utilise Bogut's skills earlier on in the season.

"We were just trying to find our way a little bit," Gaze said.

"We as coaches didn't help that cause but in more recent times we've tried to refine it, simplify things a little bit more, and we seem to be getting better results."

More importantly, the Kings, who have now won five of their past six games, consolidated third spot on the table ahead of a clash with Melbourne next week.

New Zealand will now face the league-leading Perth Wildcats in a home-and-away double this coming Friday and Sunday.