Australia have gained a slight psychological advantage over arch-rivals New Zealand in the fight for Commonwealth Games gold, claiming a dramatic come-from- behind 79-73 win in Cairns.
The fired-up Tall Blacks took the challenge to the hometown favourites on Saturday, and the off-colour Boomers trailed at all three changes.
But the superb Nick Kay led the late revival as Australia pulled ahead and ran down the clock for a six-point triumph that will almost certainly see them finish top of their pool and progress directly to the semi-finals.
In truth coach Andrej Lemanis' side were largely off the pace and got out of jail big time, and New Zealand will want another crack given they were one step ahead until well into the final quarter.
The Boomers were clearly feeling the loss of key players, struggling to get their shooting percentage up and suffering some sloppy defensive moments.
But if the speed and physicality was anything to go on, the gold-medal match shapes as a mouth-watering prospect.
With seven minutes remaining, Kay sank a crucial three-pointer to give Australia their second lead of the game, one they held apart from when the scores were locked at 71-71 with three minutes to play.
The stand-in centre's 21 points was bettered only by Tall Blacks point guard Shea Ili, who notched a game-high total of 22 in an outstanding display.
Captain Reuben Te Rangi made double figures himself with 12 points.
The Boomers play their final pool match against Nigeria on Monday, while New Zealand face Canada.