NZ Breakers have staved off a Cairns Taipans comeback with a jaw-dropping buzzer-beater from captain Tom Abercrombie in a 76-73 ANBL victory in Melbourne.
With the scores tied with just under seven seconds remaining on the clock, the Breakers captain pounced on a loose ball, after Tai Webster had been blocked on a drive, rose up beyond the arc and hit nothing but net to spark wild scenes of celebration.
Moments earlier, Taipans guard Mirko Tjeric had levelled the scores with a three-pointer to complete a 19-point comeback from the Australians, until Abercrombie's heroics saved the day for the Breakers.
The win is their third in the past four games for the resurgent Breakers, who were forced to use essentially a six-man rotation, after the late scratching of Corey Webster with a sore knee compounded their already significant injury woes.
"It was obviously an awesome feeling anytime you can hit a game winner," Abercombie says.
"Not exactly how we drew up the last play… I was lucky, as it kind of just floated towards me, and I was able to catch it in rhythm and let it fly.
"I was a little bit worried I didn't get it off in time. I was swamped pretty quick, and didn't have a chance to look up and check, but my teammates were obviously pretty confident.
"I wish it was on the other side of the Tasman, it would've been nice to do it at home, but we're getting used to playing over here.
"It was cool."
The shot rounded out a big night for the veteran swingman, who finished with 20 points on 7/13 shooting to lead his team in scoring.
American import Colton Iverson continued his strong play in the low post, notching another double-double with 15 points and 11 rebounds, also making his presence felt defensively with two steals and two blocks.
Point guard Tai Webster posted a well-rounded line of 16 points, alongside five rebounds and five assists.
The Breakers now sit eighth in the league standings and will try to take another step up against Perth Wildcats on Friday.