Illawarra have righted their NBL Cup ship in emphatic fashion, blowing New Zealand away 102-88 on Monday night on the back of a shooting clinic from 'splash brothers' Tyler Harvey and Justinian Jessup.
After letting a 12-point lead slip in their first-up Cup loss to Cairns on Saturday, Brian Goorjian's side shot to 14-point halftime lead and led by as much as 23, with Harvey and Jessup putting combining for 42 points and six steals.
Harvey finished with 22 points while Jessup had 20, but it was the other end that was most pleasing for Goorjian, with his side forcing 22 turnovers and turning them into 30 points while shooting a collective 16-30 from three-point range.
After a record-low 0-15 from the field against the Taipans, Deng Adel had eight of his 10 points in the first term to shrug off his shooting woes, with the Hawks going 16-30 from long-range. Cam Bairstow was also huge in a second-quarter cameo, grabbing 11 of his 17 points while the game was live.
Only a lengthy third-quarter delay due to a clock malfunction seemed capable of slowing the Hawks, with the Breakers going 6-0 after the resumption to get back within single digits before threes to Harvey and Bairstow snuffed out the resistance.
"I thought [Saturday's] loss was really disappointing for us, but we made some adjustments and I thought our defence got us out and running and we got contributions from everybody," Goorjian said.
"When we defend and we get out and run we're pretty good. I've got Justin [Simon] and Justinian, I've got Adel, guys who are athletic and big in their positions and I've tried to get that ball moving and give them space.
"There's other guys as this thing evolves, I've got to get them the ball as a coach in the right spots. We've got a couple of little things now for Cam [Bairstow] inside and the motion stuff is more for Justinian and DA with that spread game.
"I think the second aspect, and it's where we struggled in the second half [against Cairns], is that we got stops. When we get out and run that's when it's real hard to find guys [defensively].
"DA got the slam dunk got him going a little bit and then you get Justinian and Tyler in the open floor, that's when we're hardest to guard and that came off our d tonight."
After admittedly struggling with his rotations in recent losses, Goorjian feels he's starting to hit on the right formula, particularly as Adel and Bairstow find their groove.
"Me personally, I'm learning I'm trying to get the rotations right, our defensive schemes, these guys do what I ask them to do and I think I was off the mark in the last game," Goorjian said.
"When you play small-ball, I made moves and I wanted to go in that direction last game and I sat on AJ [Ogilvy] too long. I've got two guys I've added to the rotation in DA and Cam and I've got to get that right.
"It falls on me and I messed up [against Cairns] made some big mistakes and it cost us. It's the first time for a lot of guys, there's a lot of firsts here because it's a brand new group, not only [players] but the staff.
"The big thing I like about our group right now is, we've had a lot of different styles of losses, a lot of different styles of wins and disappointment but these guys just keep bringing it the next day and keep trying to move forward during these challenging times.
"[Adel] had a rough one the other night but we talked, leading into the game, how important he is to our team. It's not about shooting the ball, it's about how defends, how he runs the floor and what he gives us athletically. Tonight the ball did go in for him but those other areas were huge and we're evolving."
Colton Iverson was a dominant force for the Breakers early, with 10 points and eight rebounds in the opening term to ultimately finish with 13 and 17 in a double-double. Corey Webster had 22 points at 5-9 from long-range, while brother Tai had 20 at a lowly 6-15 from the field.
Lamar Patterson had 13 points but hobbled from the court in the third quarter with a knee injury that adds to what's already a substantial set of headaches for Breakers coach Dan Shamir.