Breakers claim first win of new season with dominant victory over Hawks

The New Zealand Breakers have scored their first win of the NBL season with a 103-72 victory over the Illawarra Hawks in Auckland.

After starting 0-2, the Breakers were in desperate need of a triumph and they achieved that goal on the back of an improved shooting display.

The game was billed as a Battle of the Next Stars - RJ Hampton of the Breakers and LaMelo Ball for the Hawks - and both NBA-bound youngsters had their moments.

Hampton took the early honours with a block on Ball in the opening exchanges, while Ball threw down a big dunk in the fourth quarter but neither dominated the game.

For all the pre-game chatter about the Next Stars, two of the homegrown NBL veterans helped get the job done for the Breakers.

Kiwis Tom Abercrombie (16 points) and Corey Webster (17 points) both nailed big shots when it mattered.

A three from Webster with four minutes to go in the third quarter gave the Breakers a 20-point margin and put the result beyond doubt.

Imports Scotty Hopson (17 points and nine rebounds) and Sek Henry (21 points) also provided valuable contributions for the home side.

The Breakers lost big man Rob Loe in the first quarter to a nasty head knock which saw him taken to hospital for assessment.

The Hawks fell to 1-5 as poor shooting hurt them.

Scotty Hopson drives to the basket during the NBL Blitz pre-season match between Melbourne United and NZ Breakers Source: Getty

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