The competition in the NBL this season has not lacked for entertainment value and a recent prime example is that of the Brisbane Bullets breaking a three game losing streak by beating league leaders the New Zealand Breakers 81 – 76.
The loss for the Breakers was their second straight loss after running off nine straight. They lost their previous game to the Perth Wildcats.
Yank import Perrin Buford has been averaging just under 17 points and eight rebounds per game from his guard position and he came up strong against the Breakers, throwing in 18 points and 10 rebounds to help his side improve its record to 4 – 7 after they almost snuck by the Adelaide 36ers, although they squandered a nine-point lead in the final quarter.
Bullets’ Coach Andrej Lemanis commented on what could have been.
“There’s pain every time you lose but we’ve had a couple of games like that where we’ve had opportunities to win the game and weren’t able to get across the line at the end of the day and that can build some frustration,” he said. “But I’m really pleased with the attitude of the group and the way we’ve maintained our intent, come out and play hard, play defence and play together.”
It would have been easy for us to come out today and feel sorry for ourselves from the other night but I thought our mental application was a good positive one.”
He went on to praise Bufford for playing with determination on both sides of the court. “When he’s into it, and he’s into the defence and he’s going and he’s swiping boards for us, that really helps, and offensively he’s always going to find his way,” Lemanis said.
The Bullets led at every break in the game, by five at the end of the first quarter and eight at the half. The Breakers mounted a comeback in the early stages of the third quarter, but were down 10 points at the outset of the fourth quarter, leading to the final 81 – 76 outcome.