Bullets hold nerve to see off Breakers
THE Brisbane Bullets are back on the NBL winners' list after a thrilling six-point victory over the New Zealand Breakers in Brisbane.
The 88-82 win snapped a two-game losing streak for the hosts while condemning the Breakers to their third loss in four games.
American import Torrey Craig led the way for the Bullets by downing 17 points and collecting six rebounds, while Boomers forward Cameron Bairstow chipped in with 14 points and six rebounds in his third game back from a dislocated shoulder.
Brisbane led by as many as 16 points earlier in the clash, but the Breakers hit back after half-time to create a nail-biting finish in front of 3000 fans at the Brisbane Convention Centre.
Bullets coach Andrej Lemanis was pleased with the character his team showed after holding off the Breakers' surge.
"We had struggles in the third quarter where we gave up 26 points against an experienced team full of internationals, but we fought our way through it and rediscovered our poise,” he said.
"The intent and energy in defence was good and we found a way to get a few easy scores with the game on the line, which shows significant progress for us.
"This team is in a building process and for us it's about getting better every day.”
The Bullets took a 26-17 lead into the quarter-time break after of a 19-2 blitz during a five-minute period.
Brisbane maintained its ascendency in the second, outscoring the Breakers by four points to increase its advantage to 13 points at the main break.
But the visitors would storm back into the game in the third term, riding a wave of momentum to level the scoreboard with two minutes before the final change, before eventually going in down 63-64.
Craig, however, stepped up for the Bullets in the final quarter by scoring 10 points and proving the key to the Bullets' win.