Tai Wesley leads the way as New Zealand Breakers go top

NEW Zealand has retained its position at the top of the NBL ladder with an 81-74 win against a spirited 36ers in Adelaide.

Emerging forward Tai Wesley (pictured) was again the star for the Breakers, leading his team with 18 points in just 24 minutes.

The effort came a week after he earned his first man-of-the-match award with a 23-point haul against the Sydney Kings.


Meanwhile, a career-best 33 points and 11 rebounds by Brian Conklin was not enough for Townsville to get across the line against a sharp Cairns outfit in a close 79-75 encounter.

The Taipans notched their 13th win of the NBL season on the back of strong final-quarter performances by Alex Loughton (8-18) and Cam Tragardh who worked together for 19 of the team's 26 points in the fourth quarter.

The win saw Cairns (13-6) finish the round in third place behind the Breakers (14-5) and defending champion Perth (12-5).

Melbourne, meanwhile continued Sydney's woes after the Kings came up well short 83-68 in a loss that put them three games out of fifth place.

"We've got to bounce back, and that's the challenge of dealing with adversity. It's going to reveal your character so we've got to really step up," Kings coach Damian Cotter said.