NZ Breakers pipped by JackJumpers for ninth successive defeat in their worst NBL season – Stuff

They need results to go their way but Tasmania remain in the hunt for a maiden NBL finals berth with just two games to play after a thrilling 88-86 victory over the New Zealand Breakers at MyState Bank Arena.
The JackJumpers needed heavyweights Perth to slip up in their final few games and they did just that on Thursday when they fell to Adelaide 36ers 82-70.
Playing the bottom-placed Breakers in Hobart, the JackJumpers’ come-from-behind victory on Friday night now ties them on 15 wins with the Wildcats. But they have one more in the loss column as they prepare for South East Melbourne Phoenix and Melbourne United to finish their season.
Should Perth lose to the Cairns Taipans, Illawarra Hawks or the Phoenix in their final three games, it opens the door for the fifth-place JackJumpers to sneak into the finals in their debut season.
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"This is just a remarkable season so far obviously, and for people to still be talking about us as a possible finals team, who would have thunk it," JackJumpers coach Scott Roth said.
Veteran guard Jarrad Weeks said the team will be keeping a keen eye on Perth’s matchup with Cairns on Saturday, with their road in the hands of others.
"Our focus is for South East on Sunday. Obviously, if the results go our way they go our way but like the old saying goes; control what you can control and we’re in that position still," he said.
"So hopefully we take care of South East and we go from there."
After both sides enjoyed leads no greater than four points from early in the first quarter, the JackJumpers faced a six-point deficit heading into the final five minutes of the contest.
But they dug deep as Josh Magette hit a deep triple with the shot clock winding down, before fellow guard Josh Adams (team-high 23 points) shouldered the load and made two tough buckets to give them some breathing room.
Tom Abercrombie hit a quick three with 41.3 seconds remaining to narrow the deficit to 88-86, then a huge Rob Loe block gave his side one more look to steal the game.
Peyton Siva found a wide open Abercrombie on the arc but his shot rattled off the rim and the game clock expired.
Loe was impeccable for the Breakers in the absence of Yannick Wetzell, who signed with Spanish club Baskonia on Friday, notching up a career-high 27 points to go with seven rebounds and three blocks.
But again the Breakers found themselves on the wrong-end of another close defeat as they slipped to a season sweep against the JackJumpers, their ninth straight loss and their worst franchise record since joining the NBL in 2003.
Tasmania will head to Melbourne to face the Phoenix on Sunday while the Breakers will finish their season in Adelaide on April 24.
© 2022 Stuff Limited


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