The New Zealand Breakers took down the Perth Wildcats in game 1 of the 2011/12 IInet NBL finals 104-98. It was a close game going into overtime but the cool shooting from CJ Bruton and the out and out balling abilities of Cedric Jackson were too much for the foul impacted Wildcats.
The New Zealand Breakers came out slow in the first quarter with the wildcats up by 12. Kevin Lisch and Damian Martin teamed up to play some big defensive stops and produced good ball movement. But some big threes from CJ Bruton, Darryl Corletto and Gary Wilkinson brought the breakers back and finished the quarter on top 28-24. going into the third quarter the 3 point barrage continued with Cedric Jackson also stepping up to drain the long ball.“Our whole game plan was about defending the three-point mark and they hit seven threes in that half,” rued Perth coach Rob Beveridge. The Breakers played a big quarter going on a 15-5 run and finished the half 50-35. Both teams were shooting well at 50% but the longe percentage from the breakers gave them the advantage with 6 from 11. Kevin Lisch was also kept to 5 for the quarter as the leading scorer in the game at 27 points.
The Breakers were looking to take the game in a blowout but the Wildcats kept there heads and came back in the third.
Going into the last break the breakers had a 2 point lead but the wildcats went on a 9 point run. things were looking tough for the Cedric Jackson stepped up and made the clutch plays to take it overtime.
CJ Bruton made the clutch plays he's famous for in overtime, taking the game into his hands. With 150 seconds left on the clock Bruton head faked Jesse Wagstaff to drain a 3 putting the breakers in front. then with 82 seconds left he nailed another. Then with 22 seconds left on the clock he evaded a triple team dribbling around 4 wildcats players to sink a hook shot putting the final nail in the Wildcats coffin.
The wildcats were impacted by foul issues again with Damian Martin being fouled out in the last quarter. The wildcats are the most physical team in the league and they kept that physicality going into the final. The refs did a good job throughout the game and kept the teams from starting a fight as tempers were rising. Dyllan Boucher had a big game and for while looked like he do no wrong. He put his body on the line the last quarter and made some big plays to help take the breakers into overtime. It was a classic game and hopefully the rest of the finals series will be just as entertaining.
New Zealand Breakers 104 (Jackson 25, Bruton 20, Corletto 16, Vukona 14, Wilkinson 12)
Perth Wildcats 98 (Lisch 27, Knight 17, Redhage 15, Nevill 13, Wagstaff 12)