Perth Wildcats have kept the pressure on ladder-leading New Zealand, ending the Breakers' five-match winning run with a thumping 86-62 win at Challenge Stadium.
Jesse Wagstaff led the way for the home team with 23 points while Kevin Lisch added 18 as Perth bounced straight back from last Saturday's narrow away defeat to Gold Coast Blaze.
The second-placed Wildcats are now just one win behind the Breakers, who have tasted defeat just four times in 14 matches.
In Sydney, the Townsville Crocodiles defeated the Kings 100-93 in an entertaining affair courtesy of superior long-range shooting.
Crocodiles trio Eddie Gill (26 points, nine assists), Peter Crawford (22 points) and Jacob Holmes (21 points, 11 rebounds) were irresistible from three-point territory and proved the difference.
Kings big men Julian Khazzouh (17 points, 13 rebounds, four assists, four blocks) and Jerai Grant (18 points, 12 rebounds) made their presence felt at both ends, but the Crocs guards ultimately led them to a hard-fought victory.
On the Gold Coast, a sublime shooting performance from point guard Adam Gibson led the Blaze to a crushing 96-77 victory over the Adelaide 36ers.
With Boomer Mark Worthington sidelined for most of the first half with foul problems, youngster Jason Cadee (13 points) and NBL journeyman Stephen Hoare (10) stepped up for Gold Coast.
But Gibson was the star for the home side, hitting four three-pointers amongst his game-high 27 points, while Will Hudson and Anthony Petrie finished with 10 points each.
Big men Daniel Johnson (24) and Diamon Simpson (18) provided the only resistance Adelaide could muster, with Chris Warren (12) and Darren Ng (10) only reaching double figures once the game was decided.
And at the State Netball and Hockey Centre in Melbourne, Cameron Tragardh's 14 points led the Tigers to a narrow 67-65 triumph over the Cairns Taipans.
ABC/AAPTags: sport, basketball, nbl, perth-6000, wa, new-zealand, australia First posted December 24, 2011 00:59:23