Injury-hit NZ Breakers are licking their wounds, after a second successive defeat at the hands of South East Melbourne Phoenix.
The Breakers were without key players Corey Webster and Lamar Patterson, and with Rob Loe back in New Zealand, the Kiwi side lacking depth, which was obvious during their 103-89 ANBL defeat.
The Aucklanders only used three bench players, who contributed nine points, as they basically ran a six-man rotation. Starter Finn Delany was forced to play the full 40 minutes, with captain Tom Abercombie sitting just one minute.
The Breakers were led by Delany's game-high 24 points, but he was ably helped by Abercrombie (23 points) and star guard Tai Webster, who chipped in with 16 points, but couldn't prevent South Melbourne leading from start to finish.
Melbourne won every quarter against an exhausted Breakers outfit that played their third game in five days.
The Kiwis were fighting fatigue, but never stopped battling, as they moved to 4-9 for the season.
The home side controlled the contest throughout, led by Mitch Creek (21 points), Kyle Adnam (21 points) and Ben Moore, who had 17 points.
The Breakers will get a much-needed week off, with their next contest against Brisbane Bullets on Saturday.
South East Melbourne 103 (Creek 21, Adnam 21, Moore 17) NZ Breakers 89 (Delany 24, Abercrombie 23, T Webster 16)