Adelaide end NBL season with win over NZ

·2-min read

Adelaide have finished their NBL season on a high with a 33-point victory over the hapless New Zealand Breakers to end their campaign with three wins from their last four games.

The 36ers were chasing just their 10th win in coach CJ Bruton's maiden season at the helm and they did so in fine fashion, winning by their 93-60 victory the largest for the club this season.

Five players finished in double figures as Sunday Dech led their scoring with 19 points, but it was their third quarter defence that blew the game out; holding the Breakers to their lowest score at three-quarter time all season (43).

The Breakers scored just eight points in the third term as Adelaide's lead grew to 24 points before the final quarter, before Bruton's side handed New Zealand their 10th straight loss to end the year.

"It's been a tough road, but a challenging one," Bruton said after the win.

"But I thought, finishing off strong in the last four games it's easy to give up when you know that you're not in the playoffs, but we've always got a lot to play for.

"It's a long off-season and a quick one, but I'm excited and it's started earlier for me than I would have liked, but I'm proud of these guys."

To the Breakers' credit, they came out firing without stars Ousmane Dieng and Hugo Besson, who both declared for the NBA draft, and Yannick Wetzell who signed to play in Europe just before season's end

Beginning the contest shooting 15 of their 21 first-quarter shots from beyond the arc they trailed by only five at the first break after the 36ers went on a short run.

With some momentum in the second, they clawed to within one point before Adelaide went on another run taking a 41-34 buffer into halftime.

But the third quarter was the difference as Dan Shamir's side finished the season with their worst record in franchise history (5-23) after spending the entire campaign on the road.

"For everybody to be away from home, for everybody to be living in a hotel without the community behind you, that's the unusual part," Shamir said after six months away from their fans.

"It's been hard and it finds everybody in in a tough spot right now for the Breakers."

But Shamir had hope for his side as his players jet off to be with their families again.

"They (the players) know what it's like to be in away game, but they don't know what it's like to live in Auckland, play games, to go to Spark Arena," he said.

"Even the people that are long-term with the team, I dont know if they remember what it feels like. So that's what everybody needs."

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