Crawford cracks 30 as JackJumpers Break New Zealand

SATURDAY’S action in the National Basketball League (NBL) kicked off with Jordan Crawford leading the Tasmania JackJumpers to a 97-80 win over the New Zealand Breakers at Spark Arena.

Coming into the game, the JackJumpers were in strong form, but were without MVP contender Milton Doyle, who missed due to personal reasons. It would leave a sizeable hole in Tasmania’s lineup, given Doyle has been the go-to man for Tasmania on the offensive end. On the other hand, the Breakers’ form had fluctuated, but their best was good enough to take down the JackJumpers, especially at home in Auckland.

After a reasonably competitive first quarter in which both sides were putting up good shots, Tasmania broke the game open by continuing that form but suffocating the Breakers defensively. New Zealand was held to just eight points in a match-defining period, and at the main change, the deficit was blown out to 17 points. Although the home side got things back on track in the second half and matched the opposition’s output, the damage was already done as the JackJumpers cruised home to a 17-point victory to move to 9-5 on the season.

In the absence of Doyle, Crawford stepped up in terms of his offensive performance, top-scoring for the match and looking as dangerous as ever with ball in hand.

New Zealand Breakers (80) def. by Tasmania JackJumpers (97)

Jordan Crawford – 30 points, three rebounds, three assists, one steal

Tasmania’s import guard was tremendous with his ability to hurt the opposition, making the most of a boost in scoring opportunities with the absence of his backcourt teammate.

Crawford opened proceedings for the match with the first basket of the game, collecting the ball from the screening player before rising up for a midrange at the elbow. Shortly after, he cashed in the game’s first triple, after big man Marcus Lee pulled down the offensive board and found Crawford open at the perimeter.

He registered 16 of his 30 points in the first quarter, going head-to-head with Parker Jackson-Cartwright in an enthralling display of offence.

Throughout the match, the point guard used his teammates screens to perfection, leading his immediate defender into the pick and not biting off more than he could chew with his shot selection.

Tasmania dominated the rebounding count 60-34 with 25 of those coming on the offensive end, and Crawford remained in scoring positions to knock down the second chance points. Although he shot a wayward 9/28 from the field, he still cashed in six three-pointers to have a serious scoreboard impact.

Crawford was immense in the win over the Breakers, stepping up in the absence of a star teammate in an aggressive display.

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