MARC SHANNON / BILDPORT
Breakers protect Patrick Richard.
just missed a shot on the way to an effective 21 points against Cairns.
Refunds are on the mind of Breakers, as they get ready to reuse with Mika Vukona and Brisbane Bullets.
Kevin Braswell's Auckland-based Australian NBL team took a steady stretch down the road to being made as they really believe they can be on Friday night at Spark Arena when they walloped the fierce Cairns Taipans 104-81 behind a combined 46 points from backcourt bomby Corey Webster (25) and Patrick Richard (21).
It got them back to .500 for the 3-3 season, which puts them in line with the 4-4 balls pipped 90-87 in Perth on Friday night by some heroes from league MVP Bryce Cotton.
Brisbane jumped on Breakers 86-73 in his home opener back in round 1, and it's fair to say that the Kiwi club has not forgotten it. They are adamant that they are a much better team now than they were then, and are keen to remind Queenslanders about it in their Sunday evening event in Brisbane (9.50pm tips NZT).
* Hot shooting downs Taipans
* Teenage star at college
* Homecoming for TB's guard
"They will be ready," said Braswell of Andrej Lemani's side featuring Tall Black's Reuben Te Rangi and Mika Vukona in the lead. "They shoot the ball very well, they have Cameron Gliddon, Lamar Patterson and Te Rangi who all shoot very well. It's a key for them.
"But I recognize, we were not as good offensive as we are now and we were not as close to being as defensive as we are now. I know they will see another team and this is a game we're" I have been waiting for. "
Even during two world-class shooting shows from Webster (10/16 FG, 5/8 3PT) and a locked Richard (8/9 FG, ¾ 3PT, 2/2 FT), it was positive for Breakers.
Shawn Long had a busy 17 minutes with 11 points, seven boards, two blocks and a pair of stalks, Tai Wesley slipped unhindered back in a supporting role (9 points, 6 rebounds, 6 assists), Majok Majok poured 10 points at 4 -4 shooting in relief service and there were also signs of Tom Abercrombie and Shea Ili who changed their games on a gear.
Braswell then talked about continuing to show patience with his group, as they find it familiar with each other, about good signs that Webster and Richard can play well together (where you help with your danger), Wesley continues to do what his team's needs and long progress as a true quality big in this league.
"His talent is indisputable," says Braswell from his former NBA storm. "He can do what he wants on the basketball court. I do not know if New Zealand has ever had a rim protection as he is." When he gets used to them and how the game is played, I expect him to dominate every game. "
Richard also likes the progress, with a back-to-back 100-point vacation that lubricates an effort in Perth that only lasted in the last quarter.
"When you first get to a place with many new guys it takes time," said Louisiana Indian whose goal is to break the 50-40-90 shooting limit. "We are still an ongoing job, but every day I can see growth. We have to keep doing it every day in practice, so when we get into play it's easier."
Are they due to Brisbane?
"Certainly," says Richard with a smile. "Our goal was to protect home and we released the first two here and have won the two following. Now Brisbane is playing well and we are focused on what we can do better to get another way."
Breakers continues to be without backup forward Armani Moore who will be sitting out for at least one week with his finger injury.