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NBL Round 9: Breakers defy coach's ejection to overcome 36ers

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Le'afa and Lamb light up 36ers in home victory (1:44)

Izayah Le'afa and Anthony Lamb hit 11 threes between them to sink the Adelaide 36ers at home. (1:44)

The New Zealand Breakers have defied the halftime ejection of irate coach Mody Maor, riding a 37-point first term to secure a vital 96-83 NBL win against visiting Adelaide.

The Breakers scored just 65 in their last outing, against the Illawarra Hawks, but their offence instantly clicked on Thursday after nearly two weeks without a game due to international governing body FIBA's competition window.

They shot at 77 per cent from the field and made five-of-seven triples in a 37-17 first quarter in Christchurch, Adelaide pegging a margin that had swelled to 21 back by eight in the second term.

There were frustrations for the hosts, though, as veteran Tom Abercrombie notched four first-half fouls as part of a 16-6 foul count against them.

An agitated Maor stormed towards the officials as halftime was called, his ongoing remonstrations earning him back-to-back technical fouls and an ejection.

Assistant Daniel Sokolovsky took charge in his absence, the hosts keeping Adelaide at bay despite the 36ers getting within seven points in the final term.

Maor's tossing came days after NBL chief executive David Stevenson declared there would be no tolerance of abuse towards officials this season.

The unrepentant coach felt his ejection was unwarranted, and that the lopsided foul count - it finished 26-15 against his side - was an issue that needed addressing.

"Every game we're playing now we're playing for our lives," he said.

"I probably deserved one technical foul.

"There's a way things are done in professional basketball and ejecting me over the conversation we had at halftime, when I didn't curse, is completely against everything.

"I'm proud of my players and coaching staff responding the right way.

"It's a great step for us."

The 36ers got within eight points in the third quarter but Izayah Le'afa (21 points, seven-of-11 triples) remained hot, and pivotal Adelaide centre Isaac Humphries (10 points in 15 minutes) had to sit after he too earned four fouls.

The hosts led by 17 points at the final break but consecutive triples from Sunday Dech made for some nervous moments.

Point guard Parker Jackson-Cartwright (21 points, nine assists, six rebounds, three steals) fired up, his raids to the basket relieving scoring pressure all evening.

Anthony Lamb supported with 24 points while Adelaide's sharpshooter Dejan Vasiljevic made just one-of-seven triples but still top-scored for his team with 14 points.

Import forward Jacob Wiley kept fighting in a losing side, finishing with 10 points and 12 rebounds.

Victory improved the Breakers to 4-7, a win clear of last-placed Illawarra, while Adelaide fell to 4-8.

"It's frustrating, disappointing," Adelaide coach CJ Bruton said.

"Different teams, different challenges. We weren't able to stop the bleeding early enough."

Both sides play again on Saturday, the 36ers in Tasmania while the Breakers face the Phoenix in Melbourne.