American Levi Randolph has erupted for a game-high 23 points off the bench, as NZ Breakers strung together their second consecutive Australian NBL win, toppling Perth Wildcats 83-78 at RAC Arena.
Just six days after falling in overtime to the defending league champions in Tasmania, the Auckland franchise sent Wildcats fans home disappointed, sweeping into the lead during the third quarter and hanging tough down the stretch.
In just his fourth appearance for the Breakers, Randolph shoot 11/16 from the field to lead all scorers and provide the spark needed, if his team are to challenge for the ANBL playoffs.
Trailling by three at halftime, the visitors fell as many as 13 points behind midway through the third period, but took control of the contest with a 22-4 run to end the quarter.
The Breakers led by five with 17 seconds remaining, when captain Tom Abercrombie came up with the key play of the night. When Randolph turned the ball over in the frontcourt, Abercrombie tried to steal it back from Perth guard Mitch Norton and was assessed an unsportsmanlike foul.
Norton sank two free throws and the Wildcats received the ball back, with a chance of tying up the game and forcing another overtime period.
But Abercrombie stole the inbounds pass intended for Perth star Bryce Cotton and streaked the length of the court for the clinching basket.
Forced into more of a ball-handling role, shooter Corey Webster managed 14 points, including four three-pointers, Abercrombie had 14 points, while American centre Colton Iverson continued to dominate the boards, with 17 rebounds - seven at the offensive end - and 11 points.
Centre John Mooney led Perth with 22 points and eight rebounds, while Abercrombie's defensive duties kept Cotton to just 12 points, from 4/17 shooting.
The Breakers achieved the result without injured point guard Tai Webster or centre Rob Loe, who has not allowed into Western Australia under COVID-19 restrictions, after recently travelling from New Zealand.
The Breakers' seventh win of the season (from 21 games) has them five wins outside a top-four semi-finals spot, but next up, they face bottom-of-the-table Cairns Taipans, who have lost star import Cam Oliver for the season, after he returned home for family reasons.
NZ Breakers 83 (Randolph 23, Webster & Abercrombie 14, Delany 13, Iverson 11) Perth Wildcats 78 (Mooney 22, Blanchfield 19, Cotton & Wagstaff 12)