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Kings 77 Breakers 69
10th minute - Walton hits from midrange and that could ice it. Timeout.
Breakers inbound, Brantley lobs for Pardon, but Cooks intercepts.
Breakers foul and this hardly ever works... Walton makes the first. Breakers called for delay of game and Walton makes the second.
Loe comes in to shoot the three, but Brown misses from long range. It's over.
Tough luck Breakers, well done Sydney.
Ninth minute - Loe is called for a moving screen, so Breakers can't get a score again.
Walton misses a three and Breakers gather the loose ball. As they race up the court, they're called back to wipe down the floor... that's annoying.
Brown hits a three. Phew!
Eighth minute - Brown draws a foul, but Brantley can't hit from three. Pardon is called for a goaltend, two points count, and that could be the key moment of the game, as Maor takes a timeout, five behind.
Kings have scored 11 unanswered points and Brantley can't break that run. Walton drives to the hoop for a seven-point lead.
Seventh minute - Brown rubs off a Pardon screen, but can't hit the three. Soares misses a three, but Cooks battles for the rebound and tips it in for the lead.
Abercrombie fouls out, Cooks converts the and-one.
Sixth minute - Glover hit a three, Maor wants a timeout.
Out of the timeout, Brantley travels under the basket.
Pardon blocks Simon under the ring, but Walton Jr converts the rebound into a mid-range bucket to level scores.
Fifth minute - Pardon has a foul on the offensive boards. Leafa is now on Walton as Abercrombie gets some rest.
Simon misses from point blank.
Fourth minute - Cooks draws a fourth foul on Abercrombie, so both on the ede. Cooks shoots free throws and misses the first... and second.
Glover is out there injured, hits the side of the backboard with a corner three, but gathers his rebound and dunks.
Third minute - Brown hits a runner in the lane and Cooks comes back into the game. Abercrombie picks up his third foul, defending Walton again.
Simon tries to find Cooks near the basket, but can't. Pardon dunks at the other end.
Second minute - Noi hits a corner three.
Brantley turns the ball over, Simon drives for the layup, but Pardon swipes it from the rim. Fans are outraged and start throwing stuff on the court.
First minute - Abercrombie dives for another steal, but can't snare it. Vasiljevic misses a long three. McDowell-white finds his stroke again with a three.
Vasiljevic loses the ball, Pardon sends Brown away, but he misses the layup and Pardon can't grab the rebound. Maor has a behaviour warning.
Third quarter (Kings 21-20)
Kings - Cooks 16/11 rebs, Walton Jr 13, Noi 8
Breakers - Brown Jr 17, Brantley 13, McDowell-White 9
10th minute - Cooks is called for his fourth foul, pushing off Abercrombie. Buford is reviewing it - huge call coming here.
Unsuccessful, so Cooks must sit.
Mix-up between McDowell-White and Abercrombie turns the ball over.
Abercrombie is back on Walton now. Walton's shot is blocked, but Bruce has an offensive board and putback.
Scores tied, one quarter to play.
Ninth minute - Abercrombie is guarding Cooks right now, but Glover fouls Brown, who levels the scores from the line... and put Breakers ahead again.
Cooks goes at Abercrombie and draws a foul, but misses the ring altogether. He makes the second though.
Brown euro-steps to the basket and draws the and-one. He converts.
Loe is now on Cooks and Breakers will probably foul Cooks, if he shoots like that. He misses the first... just rolled in the second.
Eighth minute - Leafa misses a three, but Brown gets up off the floor to rebound and score.
Abercrombie narrowly misses another steal.
Seventh minute - Brown misses a layup and Loe can't convert the putback. Leafa hits a three though.
Abercrombie steals the ball, but Brown's three is blocked by Galloway. Noi scores for Kings.
Sixth minute - Simon scores for Kings. Brown misses a shot, but Brantley tips in the rebound.
Hunter dunks off a Vasiljevic pass.
Fifth minute - Walton dishes for Noi to score. Brown lobs for Pardon, but Pardon is fouled.
Brown hits a bigh-arcing two over Hunter.
Fourth minute - Walton draws the defence and gives Cooks the layup. Cooks is called for his third foul and Brown comes in for the Breakers.
Third minute - McDowell-white tries to lob for Pardon again, but Pardon is fouled. That's a good foul, because Pardon misses the first, after missing two previously.
He makes the second.
Kings have two shots at threes, but miss. Leafa drives to the basket for an an-one play, which he converts to draw level.
Second minute - Brantley called for his second foul and Maor is roaring his disapproval. Abercrombie tries for the steal, but can't gather it.
Cooks drives on Brantley and dunks, McDowell-white lobs for Pardon to dunk, but Simon scores on the baseline.
First minute - Brantley misses a one-hander, but Walton scores to put Sydney ahead and converts the and-one.
McDowell-white misees a three, neither can Brantley.
Third quarters have been a problem for the Breakers in this series, so the next few minutes could be vital.
Second quarter (Kings 24-14)
Kings - Walton Jr 10, Cooks 10, Glover 7
Breakers - Brantley 11, McDowell-White 9, Brown Jr 8
10th minute - Leafa banks in a bucket that's badly needed by the Breakers. Abercrombie called for a foul, Walton makes both freebies.
Loe draws a double team, but Abercrombie can't hit. Cooks drives to the basket at the other end and Kings trail by one at the break.
Ninth minute - Brown misses frm the free throw line, Bruce has a shot deflected... McDowell-White travels. Sydney timeout.
Glover misses a layup, but Cooks tips it in.
Eighth minute - Walton hits one free throw and the Kings are back in the hunt.
Brantley throws up a long three and draws a foul from Cook. He hits the first freebie... misses the second... makes the third. Two fouls on Cooks.
Abercrombie is called for a foul on Walton, who will shoot. Replays show there was no contact, but Walton sold it.
Walton hits the first and second.
Seventh minute - Cooks finds Glover for a three. Simon can't hit a hook shot, but Abercrombie is stripped going to the hoop.
Walton breaks out, and McDowell-White trips and brings him down. Ruled a normal foul and Walton will shoot free throws.
Sixth minute - Pardon has two attempts to score, but the ball bobbles out. He grabs a defensive board instead.
Brantley spins at the basket and draws a shooting foul. He makes the first... but not the second.
Cooks scores the rim for Kings.
Fifth minute - McDowell-White misses a layup, but gets his own rebound. Leafa misses a three and Glover has a basket for the Kings.
Maor calls a timeout.
Fourth minute - Cooks turns the ball over trying to post up Abercrombie and Brantley draws an 'and one' on Cooks at the other end, but misses the extra.
Cooks gets one back, but McDowell-White drives to the basket to score.
Abercrombie swoops down the lane to block Walton at the rim.
Third minute - Pardon is stripped of the ball under the offensive basket and Bruce cops a finger to the eye in the scramble for the ball.
Walton has a layup around Abercrombie, but McDowell-White answers.
Second minute - Cooks spins in the lowpost to score, but Brantley banks a three.
Pardon called for a foul and Noi makes a free throw... he makes two.
First minute - Kings turn the ball over with their first two possessions of the second quarter.
McDowell-White misses a three, but Loe is called for his second foul, as he retreats downcourt.
Breakers have settled quicket than the Kings in hostile surroundings and already have one of the Kings starters in foul trouble. They've shot 8/12 from the field and held their rivals to 5/14.
Kings - Walton Jr 3, three others 2
Breakers - Brown Jr 8, McDowell-White 5, Pardon 4
10th minute - Brown Jr drives for a lefthand layup, double figure lead for Breakers.
Hunter is called for an offensive foul - a moving screen - so Breakers will have the last shot of the quarter. Brown has to re-adjust his shot, hits the three, but after the buzzer. NZ 22-11
Ninth minute - Glover draws another foul on the Breakers, then scores off a backdoor play.
Glover draws a charging foul on Brantley, but Maor challenges it. Unsuccessful, so no more challenges for the Breakers.
Loe blocks Cooks from behind, but Brown Jr throws up an air ball.
Eighth minute - Brown called for a foul - Breakers' first of the game, compared to six for Kings. Loe immeidately called for another.
Hunter tries a three, but in and out.
Seventh minute - Another charging foul on the Kings and then Brown is fouled at the offensive end. He makes the first free throw... and the second.
Brown makes a steal and a breakout layup.
Noi has a basket off a rebound, but Loe has height on her defender and converts for Breakers.
Sixth minute - Kings draw another blank and Vasiljevic has his second foul at the defensive end. Pardon misses the first free throw... and the second. Burgers for the fans.
Soares makes a layup, but Brown Jr is in the game and scores.
Fifth minute - From the timeout, Brantley misses a three, but is fouled and will go to the free throw line. He makes the first... makes the second... all three.
Le'afa draws a charging foul and cops a knee to the midriff.
Abercrombie can't find a cutting teammate and foces up a shot that's short.
Fourth minute - Kings shooters are cold to start, Pardon grabs a defensive board and has a dunk at the other end, off a lob from McDowell-White.
Simon finally gets one to drop for Sydney. Kings call a timeout.
Third minute - McDowell-White hits a floater to stretch the lead and Pardon swats away a basket at the other end.
Second minute - McDowell levels the scores with a three from the top of the arc. Brantley dishes to Pardon for a big for an early Breakers lead.
First minute - Abercrombie gathers the tipoff and Breakers have first possession. They turn it over under the basket, but Walton Jr hits a three for Sydney.
9:33pm - Qudos Bank Arena is sold out, with 16,000 fans... that's got to be a little intimidating for the Breakers.
Just a little.
9:23pm - Starting fives are in...
Sydney: Simon, Vasiljevic, Cooks, Walton Jr, Soares
Breakers: Pardon, Brantley, Le'afa, McDowell-White, Abercrombie
Kia ora, good evening and welcome to Newshub's live coverage of the Australian ANBL Grand Final decider between NZ Breakers and Sydney Kings at Sydney's Qudos Bank Arena.
Twelve months after finishing at the foot of the competition ladder, the Breakers have a chance to snatch their fifth championship crown, but must do so in a hostile environment, with 16,000 Kings fans expected to pack out their home venue.
They have reached this Game Five showdown, after an 80-70 home win on Sunday to level the series at 2-2, atoning for two previous substandard performances.
After two years playing almost exclusively across the Tasman during COVID-19, the Breakers are well used to elevating themselves in enemy territory - their 11-3 road record this season was not only the best in the league, it was better than their home record (7-7).
It was also better than Sydney's 10-4 home record and they've already beaten the Kings on their own patch to open the series.
Plenty has been said about the referees in recent days, as coaches and owners try to influence the officials their way, but there's a basketball saying that will take affect at tipoff.
Ball don't lie.
Join us at 9:30pm for tipoff.
TAB Odds: Sydney Kings $1.41, NZ Breakers $2.75
Breakers: 0-Dererk Pardon, 1-Jarell Brantley, 2-Izayah Le'afa, 3-Cam Gliddon, 5-Barry Brown Jr, 7-Will McDowell-White, 9-Alex McNaught, 10-Tom Abercrombie, 12-Rayan Rupert, 13-Tom Vodanovich, 15-Rob Loe, 33-Sam Timmins, 42-Dan Fotu
Kings: 0-Justin Simon, 1-Jordan Hunter, 3- Dejan Vasiljevic, 5-Angus Glover, 6-Jaylin Galloway, 7-Shaun Bruce, 10-Xavier Cooks, 11-Derrick Walton Jr, 12-Tim Soares, 21-Kouat Noi, 25-Isaac Gattorna
'1500 more reasons': Breakers owner Walsh fined for criticism of ANBL referees
As his club tries to secure its fifth Australian NBL crown - and first under his stewardship - NZ Breakers owner Matt Walsh has been fined for criticising referees on social media during a finals game.
As the Auckland-based team slumped to a 91-68 Game Three loss, Walsh tweeted: "Maybe they'll just foul our entire team out."
American forward Jarrell Brantley exited that contest early with five personal fouls, while captain Tom Abercrombie, veteran centre Rob Loe and NBL Sixth Man of the Year Barry Brown Jr teetered on the brink of expulsion with four each.
While the final foul count went against the Breakers 26-19, Sydney centre Jordan Hunter fouled out of the game in less than five minutes.
Walsh has been fined A$1500 for breaking the ANBL code of conduct, while the Breakers club has also received a formal warning for a tweet posted after the same game, pointing out the foul disparity across their playoff run.
"That's 1500 more reasons to beat the Aussies tonight," Walsh told Newshub. "Plenty has been said about the referees in this series, we have two great teams... let's let the players duke it out and I'm pretty confident we will come out on top."
Over their six post-season games, the Breakers have been whistled for 138 fouls, compared to 124 against their opponents. They have also attempted 129 free throws, against their rivals' 144.
Ironically, the only contest the Breakers have enjoyed the benefit of those calls was the Game Four victory over Sydney - after Walsh and his club pointed out the discrepancy.
Their slap on the wrist comes 24 hours after Kings coach Chase Buford was fined A$3500 for comments he made about officiating after that loss at Spark Arena, where he walked out of the post-game media conference in protest.
Both teams have competed for the favour of the officials across this series, each accusing the other of playing a physical style.
The prospect of a winner-take-all encounter at Sydney's Qudos Bank Arena clearly holds not intimidation for the Breakers.
"The team feels great playing on the road," said Walsh. "We've been the best road team in the league all year.
"We came here and played Game One, and kicked their asses. As a player, this is a dream - a road, deciding game in front of 16,000 people.
"If you can't get up for this game, you don't deserve to win."