Basketball: NZ Breakers face Game Three ANBL semi-final decider, after defeat in Tasmania

NZ Breakers face an ANBL semi-final series-deciding game at home, after falling 89-78 to Tasmania JackJumpers at Hobart.

Chasing victory for a place in the Grand Final, the Auckland outfit led by five points late in the third quarter, but could not respond to an 11-0 run by their rivals, who eased further clear down the stretch to lock up the best-of-three series at a win apiece.

Down by as many as 13 in the fourth quarter, the Breakers closed within seven with 1m 33s remaining, but ran out of time to mount their comeback.

Jarrell Brantley in action against Tasmania
Jarrell Brantley in action against Tasmania. Photo credit: Getty

American Barry Brown Jr led his team with 19 points, but forward Jarrell Brantley was visibly frustrated in the dying seconds, unable to bring his team back, despite his 17 points.

Centre Dererk Pardon compiled 15 points/11 rebounds, while Tasmania import Milton Doyle led all scorers with 23 points.

Both teams struggled for accuracy early, with the JackJumpers needed miracle long-range buzzerbeaters from Matt Kenyon and Jarrad Weeks at the end of the opening two quarters to draw level 42-42 at halftime.

The Breakers controlled much of the third period, but became stuck in sand, as the home side reeled off their decisive run, with Doyle leading the charge.

Eight points down with three minutes left, the visitors still had a shot, but Tasmania forward Jack McVeigh hit a backbreaking three-pointer that stretched margin back into double figures and then drew a charging foul on Brantley that finally ended those faint hopes.

Both sides now return across the Tasman to Auckland, where the Breakers host Game Three at Spark Arena, knowing that their opponents came back from an opening-game loss in their semi-final series against Melbourne United to make last year's final in their inaugural season.

Tasmania JackJumpers 89 (Doyle 23, McVeigh 16, Kenyon 11) NZ Breakers 78 (Brown Jr 19, Brantley 17, Pardon 15)