Basketball: NZ Breakers' finals chances in tatters after defeat to high-flying Perth Wildcats

NZ Breakers' chances of a spot in the ANBL finals are all but spent, after they went down 98-84 to Perth Wildcats on Sunday night.

After last week's 86-84 victory over the same opposition in Launceston, the Breakers' quest to win all 10 of their remaining matches for an unlikely finals berth couldn't get off the ground.

The Breakers' cause has been hampered even further, after captain Tom Abercrombie limped off the court with a suspected hamstring injury in the final minutes. Corey Webster and import Levi Randolph were also absent due to injury.

But a brave performance in the opening quarters had the Breakers right in the mix for another upset over the defending champions, trailling by just two points at halftime,

But Perth finally rectified their losing record over the Breakers this season, outclassing the Kiwi side in nearly every department to surge home for a 14-point victory on their home court.

Perth's Bryce Cotton put in a dominant display to push the Wildcats towards victory, finishing with 32 points, 10 assists and six rebounds. John Mooney also contributed with 27 points and nine assists.

While none of the Breakers could match Cotton's individual output, Finn Delany and Tai Webster both shone with 21 and 20 points respectively.

"We came in here a little short-handed," says Breakers coach Dan Shamir. "We survived for quite some time, but we just didn't have what we needed for the last few minutes.

"Hats off to Perth, they are a great team. We gave it everything we had, but they were just better."

Meanwhile, Perth coach Trevor Gleeson has paid tribute to the Breakers, who have spent their entire campaign on the road in Australia.

"I just want to say what an outstanding job NZ has done," says Gleeson. "They have been in Australia all year, playing at home in Tassie and playing at that level.

"With Corey out, with their import Randolph out, these guys are playing hard and I hope Abercrombie is OK. I have nothing but respect for how they have carried themselves this year. 

"We knew it was going to be tough, we have a long history with NZ. It doesn't matter where they are on the ladder, they always come ready to play.

"I am happy our guys stood up."

The loss leaves the Breakers' ANBL record at nine wins and 18 defeats from 27 games, above only Cairns Taipans on the ladder.

The Wildcats are still second with 20 wins and seven defeats, two off Melbourne United in top spot.

The Kiwi side will face South East Melbourne Phoenix on Wednesday and Illawarra Hawks on Saturday, as their final two away matches of the season, before returning home for seven consecutive fixtures in New Zealand to end their campaign.