ANBL: Sluggish NZ Breakers fall to desperate Melbourne United in disappointing defeat at Christchurch

Melbourne United's Xavier Rathan-Mayes in action.
Melbourne United's Xavier Rathan-Mayes in action. Photo credit: Getty Images

A desperate Melbourne United proved too much for a travel-weary Breakers side as they scored a 77-65 win in their Australian NBL game at Christchurch.

Melbourne, who are just outside of the playoff picture knew they had to win, while the Breakers had just returned from a tough road trip in Australia and played without leading scorer Barry Brown Jr.

However, United still had to play well to get the job done and had their own concerns with the absence of Isaac Humphries and David Barlow. But from the outset, Melbourne were locked in defensively and came away with the 12-point win.

Melbourne turned a five-point lead at quarter-time into a 14-point lead midway through the second term on the back of threes from Xavier Rathan-Mayes and Brad Newley.

The Breakers weren't ever really able to get close enough to threaten from there shooting just 33 percent as a team including going 8/27 from beyond the arc along with coughing up 14 turnovers.

Melbourne scored 18 points off those and on the back of going 25/28 at the foul line scored the crucial win to improve to 12-12 on the season to remain in the race for the top six. The Breakers stay third at 13-8.

It was a rough offensive night for New Zealand with Jarrell Brantley top-scoring with 17 points, five rebounds and two steals.

Izayah Le'afa added 13 points, Cam Gliddon eight points and four rebounds, Dererk Pardon seven points and six boards, and Will McDowell-White seven points, eight rebounds and six assists.

Breakers coach Mody Maor took on a lot of the responsibility himself for the result.

"The team did not disappoint me at all, I'm disappointed in our performance," Maor said.

"We didn't play up to par and when your team doesn't perform as a whole, it's their coach's responsibility. This one's 100 percent on me.

"Playing three games in five days is a real challenge and I think for big stretches in the game you saw that our guys really tried, and competed. We didn't have all the solutions and that's on me."

The Breakers return to Auckland on Sunday to play the Cairns Taipans.