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NBL 2014/15 Round 19: Jackson heave breaks Perth hearts in 2OT
Cedric Jackson’s half-court buzzer beater at the end of double overtime has lifted New Zealand to a tense 89-87 win over Perth.
The loss meant the Wildcats slipped to the same record as Adelaide as the two battle for third and fourth place on the ladder with a week to go.
In a game that was ugly for most of the night, the Breakers held a slim three-point lead at the main break, 35-32, in a tight defensive tussle.
While the scoring didn’t accelerate that much in the second half, the game changed significantly as the Wildcats went on a run.
DeAndre Daniels, who was electric early, found his groove once more and Perth’s many role players stepped it up late, with six points in the final 60 seconds giving their side a healthy seven-point lead at the final change.
It was then the Breakers’ turn to get busy, and within three minutes of the three-quarter time break the scores were level once more as Jackson and Corey Webster started hitting the scoreboard again.
The visitors extended their lead to four with under three minutes to play, but a huge Jermaine Beal three cut it to a single point before Daniels tied it up at the foul line after a steal on the next possession.
Tom Abercrombie gave his side the lead back with a minute to play but another Beal bucket, this time with just seconds on the clock, was to have the last say as the game went to an extra period.
Both sides went blow for blow again in overtime, and when Webster missed the back end of his trip to the line with nine seconds on the clock it left the door open for another big shot from Beal to send the game into a second overtime period tied at 80.
The Breakers kept their noses in front as both sides struggled again on the offensive end, with just six points combined being added to the scoreboard over the first four minutes of play.
Beal and Webster traded blows, and the lead, in the final 40 seconds, before Abercrombie was sent to the line with 16 seconds to go.
The usually reliable star missed both, and Beal made him pay at the other end by nailing two of his own to give his side the lead back with just seconds on the clock.
Enter Jackson, who calmly took the ball in his hands, got to mid-court and let it go, sending the Breakers bench into raptures and silencing the 13,000-strong Perth Arena crowd.
Jackson was superb with 22 points, seven boards, six assists and four steals, while Webster netted a career-high 27 points in a very good performance.
Daniels (24 points, 10 rebounds) and Beal (24 points, 3 rebounds) were equally impressive for the Wildcats but couldn’t drag their side over the line.
The win means New Zealand sweep Perth 4-0 in the regular season for the first time in NBL history, while also leaving Perth vulnerable to Adelaide ahead of next week’s final round.
Perth 87 (Daniels 24, Beal 24, Redhage 12)
New Zealand 89 (Webster 27, Jackson 22, Ibekwe 11)
@ Perth Arena