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Breakers overcome ailments to beat Taipans

The New Zealand Breakers have overcome a host of injuries to beat Cairns Taipans 93-85 in their NBL encounter in Auckland on Thursday.

The luckless Breakers went into the game without regulars Rob Loe (head) and Finn Delany (ankle) and lost import guard Scotty Hopson to a knee injury during the second quarter.

To make matters worse, big man Ater Majok had to fight through illness to suit up and he contributed 8 points and 5 rebounds off the bench.

Corey Webster was the main architect for the Breakers as he scored 23 points and carried the load without Hopson.

"One of our brothers went down again so we had to dig in," Webster said.

"Everybody stepped up, chipped away at it as a team and we came away with a good win."

Teenage tyro R.J. Hampton hit some timely shots in the final quarter for the Breakers to end the game with a career-high 18 points.

American Hampton entered the NBL with plenty of hype after coming through as part of the Next Stars initiative and he is beginning to deliver.

The Taipans left themselves with a large mountain to climb as they experienced some Halloween horrors from the floor as they made only one three-pointer from nine attempts in the first half.

The Breakers were up 45-34 at halftime and the Taipans threatened as they fought back in the third and briefly held the lead.

"We knew that they were going to come out aggressive after the half so we just had to stay with our stuff," Webster said.

"We are really unfortunate right now with the injuries but we've got other guys ready to step up and I'm proud of the boys, so we've just got to keep going."

Cairns import Cameron Oliver had 23 points and all of their starters reached double figures but they got little punch from their bench.

In the fourth quarter, the visitors got within five but Webster and Hampton ensured the home side moved to 2-3 for the season while the Taipans slumped to 2-5.