Basketball: Improved New Zealand Breakers fall in double-overtime to undefeated Illawarra Hawks as winless start continues

The New Zealand Breakers have fallen to 0-4 in the Australian NBL after a heartbreaking overtime loss against Illawarra Hawks in Wollongong.

A three-point bomb from French NBA-bound import Hugo Besson had the Kiwi outfit on track for victory, taking a 96-95 lead with 16 seconds remaining in double-overtime.

But a clutch two-point running floater from Tyler Harvey sealed a one-point win for the Hawks, who are now a perfect 3-0 to start their campaign.

But the Breakers can take several positives from a pulsating contest, in which they led at the end of the first three quarters and resisted a Hawks fourth-quarter comeback when Will McDowell-White landed an end of regulation jumper to send the game to overtime.

The winless Breakers also saw the returns of inspirational leader Tom Abercrombie and key import Jeremiah Martin, while they will be boosted by new recruit and former Orlando Magic guard Chasson Randle later this week.

New Zealand centre Yanni Wetzell had an outstanding outing, recording a double-double in a potential breakout performance, ending with 25 points and 16 rebounds.

Besson - who jumped nine spots this week on the mock NBA draft ladder - provided a late spark in the second overtime period, nailing two big three-pointers to keep his side alive, ending with 20 points and eight rebounds.

In all it was a positive offensive evening for the Dan Shamir coached side, who look a better team than their record suggests after a tough start to their campaign that included an outbreak of COVID-19 days before their opening game of the season.

Illawarra Hawks 97 (Harvey 26, Jessup 21, Reath 19) bt 
NZ Breakers 96 (Wetzell 25, Besson 20, McDowell-White 17) in double overtime.