New Zealand Breakers get thrashed by Melbourne United by 35 points

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Melbourne United put on a clinic as they hammered the New Zealand Breakers 108-73, cruising to their 11th NBL victory of the season.

After jumping out to a 30-20 lead in the first quarter, United’s lead grew to 30 points before halftime as they outscored the struggling Breakers (4-10) offensively and put the clamps on defensively.

United (11-4) led by 60 points at halftime, the best halfway score of the season, before closing with the greatest fulltime total in what was an absolute dominance from start to finish at John Cain Arena.

Their first-half play was a showcase of perfect team basketball, with them distributing the ball, finding the open man, and attacking the Breakers’ coverage flaws.

They had 18 assists on 21 field goal attempts in the first half, hitting six of their 17 deep shots, before finishing with 31 assists and 46%.

“I just liked the consistency of effort,” United coach Dean Vickerman remarked.

Having 31 assists is certainly something that we’ve been preaching about; how we move the basketball and how we get others involved and share it.

“I thought everybody was into the celebration of rewarding that extra ball movement tonight.

“‘I’m not sure if this club has had 31 assists since I’ve been here. So really pleased with that.”

Melbourne’s highest scorer was Caleb Agada, who had 17 points, nine rebounds, and five assists as the team ended with seven players in double digits.

The Breakers’ shortcomings were on full show as Dan Shamir’s team failed to generate any form of offensive rhythm.

However, Next Star Hugo Besson (17 points) and American recruit Peyton Siva showed promise (17 points).

“Losing a game by 35 there’s really not a lot to say,” Shamir added.

“First of all, hats off to United – everything that they’re doing, the way they impact the game definitely shows why they are in the first place and we are not.

“Obviously, not a good day for us on a lot fronts and other levels, but I think we’re better than that.

“So that’s definitely what my feeling is. Okay, we showed up today, got punched hard, but I think we’re better than that.”

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