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Sydney Kings vs NZ Breakers game report

Signs of a productive off-season were seen all over the court in Sydney's dominant 94-65 win over the New Zealand Breakers in game two of the Australian Basketball Challenge on Friday. After showing that kind of dominance despite a new coaching staff across the board, a new floor general, two fresh-faced imports and an entirely new playbook, the Kings have every right to be confident coming into the 2016/17 campaign. While the Breakers were without the competition's best wing pair in Kirk Penney and Corey Webster, the Kings took care of their own backyard with impressive ball movement and leadership from backcourt duo Kevin Lisch (16 points, six assists) and Jason Cadee (18 points and three assists). Cedric Jackson's replacement Ben Woodside (14 points) paced New Zealand, but Finn Delaney – who threw down what may be dunk of the tournament in the face of Greg Whittington – and Akil Mitchell, who climbed over two Kings for a blockbuster put-back in the third term, stole the show. Even before tip-off the excitable Kings demonstrated a renewed sense of vigour that had been largely missing from the club in recent seasons. The energy radiating from head coach Andrew Gaze and new import Greg Whittington – who had a painted-on smile throughout the 40 minutes – was complemented by the poise of star signing Kevin Lisch in a perfect balancing act, while the Breakers were largely disconnected throughout. Both sides started on fire, combining for 15 points in the first minute and a half, but the Lisch-led Kings soon sucked the life out of last year's grand finalists with immense perimeter pressure. Sydney took a 31-21 lead to quarter time, extending it to 21 by half-time as Woodside (zero assists in 29 minutes) took a back seat in the offence. Scoring slowed in a 17-17 third term, but Sydney hit the gas pedal again late. Most impressive about the Kings' performance was their willingness to move the ball in Gaze's shuffle offence, with international veteran Brad Newley (three assists) forming a lethal triple threat of facilitation in tandem with Lisch and Cadee. Sydney will walk away from their first game with 6.5 competition points as New Zealand could manage just half a point.   SYDNEY KINGS 94 (Jason Cadee 18, Kevin Lisch 16, Greg Whittington 13) NEW ZEALAND BREAKERS 65 (Ben Woodside 14, Jordan Ngatai 10, Finn Delaney 8, Akil Mitchell 8)  
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