36ers edge Breakers in NBL overtime
The Adelaide 36ers, led by Isaac Humphries, overcame their fatigue to fight back from an 11-point third-quarter deficit and defeat the New Zealand Breakers 94-91 in an NBL overtime thriller.
Friday's gripping finale concluded when Breakers import Lamar Patterson, whose three-pointer with 17.8 seconds remaining gave his side a sniff, missed his next attempt on the buzzer that would have forced double-overtime.
The tense win at the Adelaide Entertainment Centre moved the home side's record to 2-2, both gutsy wins coming in gruelling overtime nail-biters.
Adelaide coach Conner Henry admits his overworked side is fatiguing and knows their physical fettle will be tested further by another double header next week, starting with Wednesday's rematch with NZ.
"(After) four games in eight nights, the boys are tired," Henry admitted.
"We need a couple of days off.
"We need to rest up, continue to get healthy and be ready for them again."
For the Breakers, Tai Webster (34 points), the younger brother of injured star Corey Webster, sizzled in his first NBL game in almost eight years.
He eventually fouled out with 11.8 seconds left and Tony Crocker's ensuing free throws gave the Sixers the cushion they needed.
Adelaide's charge was led by big centre Humphries (24 points, 11 rebounds, five blocks) and previously out-of-sorts import Donald Sloan (20 points).
The 36ers had jumped ahead 22-8 early and led 29-19 at quarter-time before falling behind as they were outscored in the middle two quarters.
Then Humphries, who had only four points at halftime, piggybacked them home.
Down 44-42 at half-time, NZ opened the third stanza with back-to-back three-pointers before Patterson put them up 59-48.
Still down 70-62 at three-quarter time, Humphries took control of the contest at both ends, propelling a 9-0 start to restore Adelaide's lead.
In the last minute of regulation, Webster and Sloan exchanged huge threes and Humphries rejected Patterson's attempted matchwinner with 4.3 seconds left before getting in the way of Webster's drive in the last second to force the extension.
"We made a big mistake at the end of regulation," NZ coach Dan Shamir said after Sloan's relatively uncontested three tied the game with 10.7 seconds left.
"We were up three and we should know to force a contested challenge.
"He got an open shot from a defensive mistake.
"The end of the game was tough."
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