Basketball: NZ Breakers keep ANBL playoff hopes alive with gritty road win against Perth Wildcats

NZ Breakers have kept themselves in the Australian NBL playoffs hunt with a gritty 89-78 win over rivals Perth Wildcats.

The Breakers led from wire from to wire against the second-placed Western Aussies to record their third victory in their past four games and maintain control of their post-season destiny.

The result was somewhat soured by the loss of star import Anthony Lamb, who had to be helped off the court with a left leg injury late in the first quarter.

Anthony Lamb left the game early with injury.
Anthony Lamb left the game early with injury. Photo credit: Getty Images

Early diagnosis by the Breakers medical staff isn't encouraging, with reports Lamb - one of the league's standout players - may have suffered a torn Achilles tendon, which would mean the end of his season.

Fellow American import Zylan Cheatham picked up the slack, with a game-high 24 points on 7/12 shooting to go with nine rebounds. Point guard Parker Jackson-Cartwright continued his consistent play, adding 19 points, five assists and four rebounds.

Meanwhile, the Breakers defence kept the clamps on Wildcats star Bryce Cotton, who had an inefficient night with 13 points on just 3/14 from the field.  

The Breakers established an early lead that grew to as many as 12 points in the second quarter, before closing out the half 46-39 ahead.

The Wildcats chipped away at the deficit through the third quarter, but the Breakers kept them at arm's distance with key baskets down the stretch to ensure they bounced back from last Sunday's defeat to Illawarra Hawks.

They'll host the Hawks in a high-stakes rematch at Auckland's Spark Arena on Friday.

NZ Breakers 89 (Cheatham 24, Jackson-Cartwright 19) Perth Wildcats 78 (Pinder 21, Cotton 13)