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Fraser Barton

Breakers second in NBL with dramatic OT win vs Brisbane

Jarrell Brantley of the Breakers takes on DJ Mitchell of the Bullets during the NZ side's NBL win. (Darren England/AAP PHOTOS) (AAP)

The New Zealand Breakers have earned an automatic semi-final berth and home court advantage in the NBL playoffs following a dramatic 80-75 overtime win over Brisbane.

In a do-or-die matchup and needing a win to secure second spot, the Breakers outlasted Brisbane in front of a capacity crowd at Nissan Arena to finish their season on a five-game win streak.

Jarrell Brantley's two free throws sealed the result after his side went up by three points early in overtime and with Brisbane's final chance, Tom Abercrombie stole the ball before Will McDowell-White went to the line to put the result to bed.

Their outstanding win caps off a stellar season for Mody Maor's side, who just one year ago finished bottom of the standings and are now on their way to the playoffs with an 18-10 record.

That record is shared with Cairns Taipans, who were victorious over the Perth Wildcats on Friday in their final game, but New Zealand's superior points differential ensures a home semi-final when the playoffs begin.

Brantley had 19 points, Abercrombie 14, but McDowell-White's near triple-double was the difference as the point guard finished with 15 points, eight rebounds and nine assists.

The teams couldn't be separated deep into the fourth quarter but the visitors eventually found themselves with a five-point advantage after Dererk Pardon's offensive board and dunk put the Breakers up 68-63 with two minutes remaining.

Tyler Johnson (15 points) hit a corner triple to narrow the deficit to two, then Aron Baynes (17 points) was fouled on a dunk and had a chance to tie the game, but would hit one of two.

McDowell-White turned the ball over with 12.2 seconds left in the game and Johnson hit two free throws to put Brisbane up after being fouled on his go-ahead attempt.

On a play to win the game, Rob Loe was fouled under the basket after a beautiful back-screen but could only hit one of his two attempts from the stripe.

More drama then ensued, Brisbane turning the ball over from the inbound and Izayah Le'afa's three-pointer fell short forcing overtime.

Brisbane finish their season with an 8-20 record and ninth in the standings, one spot lower than their 2021-22 year.

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