Emerging Boomers guard William McDowell-White overcame sickness and showcased his all-round talent as the New Zealand Breakers maintained their early-season momentum with a thumping 88-62 NBL away win over Illawarra.
The Breakers (3-1) racked up a third consecutive win for the first time since February 2020 to move above into third while the Hawks (1-4) crashed to a third consecutive loss and dropped to ninth.
The scoring load was spread and shared among the Breakers with six players in double digits and another adding nine.
McDowell-White, who impressed in his first Boomers appearances in World Cup qualifiers mid-year, tallied game highs with 17 points, 10 rebounds and six assists and added three steals and a block.
The visitors were without import Barry Brown due to a hamstring issue and his absence meant Jamaal Brantley made his debut for the Breakers, joining brother Jarrell in the side.
That made them the first import siblings to play for the same team in NBL history, with Jamaal scoring his first points in the last 15 seconds.
“We’ve got guys sick, guys injured and you’d have to say the old cliche, ‘next man up’ and that’s what we pride ourselves on,” McDowell-White told ESPN.
“I certainly didn’t have much in the tank. I’ve been sick all week.”
Veteran Cam Gliddon added scoring punch off the bench, contributing 12 points from four second-half three-pointers
Frenchman and Next Star Rayan Rupert tallied 11, Tom Vodanovich, Robert Loe and Jarrell Brantley all scored 10 with Dererk Pardon notching nine.
Tyler Harvey top-scored for Illawarra with 12, but his poor shooting form continued, making just five of 15 from the field.
No other Hawk scored in double figures with the home team shooting a mere 37 per cent from the field and 28 per cent from three-point range.
The Hawks led 11-7 but the more efficient Breakers bossed the rest of the contest, scoring the first nine points of the second quarter to go 30-16 up.
Illawarra slashed a 24-point second-quarter deficit to 11 by the end of the third.
The Breakers scored the first seven points of the final quarter to smash any hope of a Hawks comeback and led by as much as 32.