Steve Bell/Getty Images
Jeremiah Martin of the Breakers dunks the ball against theTasmania JackJumpers in Hobart.
The New Zealand Breakers have crashed to a sixth successive loss in Australia’s National Basketball League after a post-Christmas hangover in Hobart.
Dan Shamir’s side were outgunned 84-75 on Sunday by the Tasmania JumpJackers, who scooped their second win in their inaugural NBL campaign.
The Breakers – now 6 and 0 – trailed by nine points at the end of the first quarter after some porous defence and disappointing shooting options and execution. Despite brief revivals early in the third and fourth quarters, they were never able to get back into the game against the NBL newcomers.
Jeremiah Martin (24 points) and Yanni Wetzell (20) provided some offensive spark for the Breakers, but much-heralded former Orlando Magic guard Chasson Randle – a 119-game NBA veteran– had a slow-burn start to his NBL career.
* Hungry like the Wolf – Breakers standout Hugo Besson takes his best shot at the NBA
* Chasson Randle on leading NZ Breakers’ NBL turnaround – ‘I’m ready for the challenge’
* Bay of Plenty Stingrays unveiled as Kiwi NBL expansion team for 2024
* Anatomy of a funding windfall: How Basketball NZ finally got its big payday
The 28-year-old American did not register a point in the first quarter, being pinged for an offensive foul for bumping off a Tasmania defender as he seemed set to open his account.
But Randle had a hot patch early in the second quarter, scoring six consecutive points. The point guard slotted a three-pointer and added a fourth point from the stripe after drawing a foul and then he plunked the next bucket as the Kiwis mounted a mini comeback.
Tasmania, with nine different players making the score-sheet, rallied to lead 50-39 at halftime. The 11-point deficit would have been even worse, but for a fast break engineered by Rob Loe to atone for an earlier foul. His quick transition allowed Martin to slot the basket and draw a foul, adding an extra point from the charity line.
Randle didn’t start the second half as coach Shamir opted for a bigger lineup with more game time for Loe, resulting in more obdurate defence.
Martin took up the scoring mantle with six points soon after the restart and then continued his hot streak with a three to reduce the gap to four points.
But the Breakers were unable to maintain their momentum, allowing the JackJumpers to extend their lead to 13 by the end of the third quarter.
The Kiwi side showed some spirit in the final quarter to score eight early points, highlighted by a terrific three-pointer from deep by William McDowell-White.
But it was too late to break their alarming losing streak despite some better defence from Shamir’s side in the second half.
Tasmania –who had lost their previous five games – now have two wins from seven.
They got great value from American guard Josh Adams, who top scored with 21 points and drew plenty of fouls, and the unerring three-point precision of captain Clint Steindl, who nailed four out of five long range attempts.
AT A GLANCE
Tasmania JackJumpers 84 (Josh Adams 21, Clint Steindl 14, Fabijian Krslovic 11) New Zealand Breakers 75 (Jeremiah Martin 24, Yanni Wetzell 20, Finn Delany 10). 1Q: 25-16. HT: 50-39. 3Q: 69-56.