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Casey Frank helps Breakers 11 Jan 2014

Marc Hinton Fairfax Media

The NZ Breakers have bounced back from one of their worst performances of the Australian NBL season, with one of their best in Melbourne on Friday night.

The threepeat champions shook off their horror 99-73 pounding from Adelaide last Saturday night to upset the Melbourne Tigers on their home court in a thriller that went down to the wire.

The Breakers capped a tumultuous week in the best possible fashion with a 93-87 victory - their second in three festive season road games - that improves their record to 6-10 and keeps on track their outside shot at an unlikely playoff spot.

The third-placed Tigers drop to 10-7 after a defeat they would not have seen coming, especially on their home floor.

But the Breakers, still missing the injured Alex Pledger (ankle), got up on the back of a handful of big-time efforts and a performance that had all the urgency and effort that had been missing in Adelaide.

The Auckland club was led by a standout 21 points (7/12 FG, 4/5 3pt) and three rebounds from Tom Abercrombie and a monster double-double of 17 points (6/10 F), 15 rebounds and six assists from Mika Vukona.

But the senior Tall Blacks had help. Australian veteran Daryl Corletto bounced back to form with a 15-point haul that included four triples, import point guard Kerron Johnson added 14 points (6/8 FG), three boards and three assists, while Gary Wilkinson chipped in with 10 points (5/9 FG) and seven rebounds.

A special mention had to go to Casey Frank who stepped out of the commentary booth to come to his former club's aid as a temporary fill-in while Pledger is sidelined. The 37-year-old produced nine points (5/9 FG) and seven boards to provide valuable backup minutes in the Breakers front court. On the evidence of this his temporary assignment could yet extend beyond its current short-term.

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