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Breakers run riot in record night at Vector

The Breakers have exploded to life in season 2016/17 with a record-breaking 119-93 home win over Adelaide on Saturday. Ranking sixth offensively at just 77 points per game, the well was running dry for a Breakers team known for its ability to keep the scoreboard ticking. But everything changed on Saturday night, as sharpshooters Kirk Penney (27 points), Corey Webster (22) and Thomas Abercrombie (15) sparked the Breakers to the club's highest score since the 40-minute era began. The trio lit up Adelaide from the get-go, with triple after triple in a 62-point first half that largely had the game on ice a long way out from full-time. "I felt we had a really good week at practice, and even the games leading in [to Saturday]. I felt that the group was starting to grow together," Breakers coach Paul Henare said post-game. "We've really begun to find our identity, individually and as a group as well. "I thought the looks that we got were really good looks. It felt like we were creating some shots and I think our 31 assists really reflects that." Not since 2011 (155 games ago) has New Zealand dropped 62 points in a first half, and their three amigos combined for nine triples and 39 points of it. On the other side of the court, Sixers revelation Nathan Sobey was a one-man wrecking crew on his way to a career-high and game-high 32 points on 11/17 shooting, while MVP candidate Jerome Randle had a quiet night for 20 points. From a Cairns Taipans development player to the Sixers' second most important player in the space of 18 months, Sobey's rise has been one of the most meteoric in NBL history. The 26-year-old, known as one of Australia's best dunkers, has developed into the complete package, and ticked every box against the reigning grand finalists. Sobey's jumpshooting, ball handling, aggressiveness, ability to draw contact, rebounding and facilitation were all on show as he saved the Sixers from a half-time deficit that could have easily risen above 30, and kept it rolling throughout the game. From the very start the visitors were on the back foot. Abercrombie had eight points in the first two minutes, while Randle struggled to make an impact as the home side rode a 14-5 run to lead 35-19 at quarter time. Penney's quick-fire triples early in the second term kept the Breakers cooking, shooting a collective 10/18 threes just two minutes into the second quarter. Seven Sobey points in the final five minutes of the half kept the half-time deficit at 19, but Penney's off-ball movement straight out of the sheds was copybook, hitting two more quick threes to almost put the visitors away, at 67-44, within the first minute of the second half. "We were flat. We came out flat and didn't stick to our assignments," Jacobsen said after the game. Coach Joey Wright added: "We're definitely going to bounce back, we don't have an option. "We are a young side and sometimes you can get comfortable. We were a bit loose today at shootaround, maybe too lose. We were a bit loose at training yesterday, but sometimes this is how young teams learn. "We walked into this game not necessarily needing to win as much as them. As soon as there was a reason to lose, we lost." Sobey, Randle and Eric Jacobsen tried hard for Adelaide, but the hosts did not switch the motor off for a single second, piling on the points through Webster and Penney jumpers, and paint points to Akil Mitchell and Alex Pledger. The Breakers, now full of confidence, head to Hisense Arena next Friday to face Melbourne, while Adelaide is up the next night in the Jungle.   NEW ZEALAND BREAKERS 119 (Penney 27, Webster 22, Mitchell 17) ADELAIDE 36ERS 93 (Sobey 32, Randle 20, Johnson 15) BOX SCORE
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