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New Zealand Breakers vs Cairns Taipans: NBL live scores, blog

28th October, 2015
Start time: 5:30 pm (AEDT)
Venue: Vector Arena, Auckland
TV: Live, Fox Sports News (Aus), Sky Sports (NZ)
Betting: Breakers $1.33, Taipans $3.40
Last meeting: 8/3/2015 (2014-15 grand final game 2) - Breakers 83-81 Taipans at North Shore Events Centre
Last five: Breakers 3, Taipans 2

New Zealand Breakers (expected)
Point guard: Cedric Jackson
Shooting guard: Corey Webster
Small forward: Thomas Abercrombie
Power forward: Mika Vukona
Centre: Charles Jackson
Bench: Alex Pledger, Tai Wynyard, Reuben Te Rangi, Everard Bartlett, Shane McDonald, Shea Ili

Cairns Taipans (expected)
Point guard: Markel Starks
Shooting guard: Cameron Gliddon
Small forward: Stephen Weigh
Power forward: Mark Worthington
Centre: Matt Burston
Bench: Cameron Tragardh, Alex Loughton, Torrey Craig, Shaun Bruce, Damon Heuir
Melbourne United, with Cedric Jackson take on the New Zealand Breakers. (Image: AAP, Travis Anderson)
Expert
28th October, 2015
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Match Results:

A Corey Webster and Tai Wesley inspired New Zealand Breakers have taken out a resounding and commanding victory at Vector Arena in Auckland over the Cairns Taipans by 23 points in the first grand final re-match of the season.

After the Breakers won the grand final series last season in two matches, the Taipans would have been keen to bounce back tonight. Both teams were under pressure early in the season and needing a victory, however it would be the Breakers who ran away with the win.

The Taipans certainly knew they had plenty to play for though, judging by the way they came out of the gate. They were filling it up early on in the game, struggling to miss a shot as Matt Burston lead them to a strong eight point lead about half way through the first quarter.

However, as Burston checked out of the game, Corey Webster began to get hot and knocked down shot after shot to not only bring the Breakers back into the game but take a five point lead by quarter time.

The second quarter was the most even of the game, and the highest quality. The Breakers would maintain their five point lead, both teams having areas to work on for the second half and the Breakers having the added problem of players in foul trouble.

In the second half though it was the Corey Webster and Tai Wesley show as the Breakers put the foot down and ran away with the game.

Throughout the second half would outscore the Taipans 48-30 and the two telling areas were shooting percentage, and rebounds particularly for the Breakers on their offensive glass.

The amount of extra opportunities created by the Tai Wesley led offensive rebounding crew was incredible, as was the amount of fouls the Breakers were able to draw in the post throughout the later stages of the game.

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The Taipans couldn’t get out of taking silly shots due to strong defence, and ended up 2/14 from behind the three point line and having an overall shooting percentage of 38 per cent, which when the other team is shooting at 50 per cent will never do in winning a game of Basketball.

Wesley ended up with 26 points and eight rebounds, while Webster had 35 points, shooting at 53 per cent and they were certainly the difference on court for this one.

Besides Matt Burston, the only bright spot for the Taipans was the play of Alex Loughton who was good inside for most of the game or Torrey Craig who scored 17 points and top scored for the Taipans.

The Breakers now have a week off before taking on the Adelaide 36ers at home next Thursday, while the Taipans also face the 36ers in their next fixture, but on a tough road trip on Saturday evening.

Final Score:

New Zealand Breakers 90
Cairns Taipans 67

Match Preview:

In the first grand final re-match of the 2015-16 NBL season we see two teams who have taken a dramatic fall face off when the New Zealand Breakers host the Cairns Taipans in Auckland. Join The Roar for live scores and coverage from 5:15pm (AEDT).

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Cairns are seeking revenge for their defeat in last year’s grand final series in just two games. However, this won’t be the only driving factor coming into this game for the Taipans.

They are coming off a horrendous week, losing to both Melbourne United and the Adelaide 36ers away from home, and having played a total of five games for the season they now sit in sixth place with only two victories.

For a team that is very similar to last year, and made stronger by the addition of Mark Worthington, you have to wonder what has happened in Cairns and how they can arrest their form slide.

The two games they lost last round, while being considered two of the more difficult road trips in the competition, are games they needed to win if they want to do what they did last year.

This trip across the Tasman serves as a real statement game for Cairns.

In saying that, the losses for the Taipans were not blow-outs and they played solid basketball for the most part, just being unable to execute in key points of the game.

The Breakers have Corey Webster back, so to record a win here would remind everyone why they were the premiers last year. They built that on the back of consistency and generally being brilliant in every element of their game, which they haven’t been so far this season.

The Breakers are coming off a full week-long break with no travel involved. Their last game was to open Round 3 last Wednesday, where they recorded a very scrappy win over the Sydney Kings at home.

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New Zealand made a ridiculous 27 turnovers in the 12-point win, however having Webster back from his failed NBA trial with the New Orleans Pelicans made a huge difference as he scored 22 points and was pivotal early in the game and down the stretch.

This is an area the Breakers must fix up. Their performance will likely come down to the play of Cedric and Charles Jackson, along with Webster. If those three can combine well and get back to their premiership-winning best, then it could turn into a blow-out at home.

Prediction
The Taipans are a quality team, however with Webster back for the Breakers and being at home it is tough to tip against them.

Breakers by 4 in a cracker.

Join The Roar for our live coverage of this match from 5:15pm (AEDT) and don’t forget to leave a comment if you’re following along with the action.

Follow Scott on Twitter @sk_pryde

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