Forward Finn Delany has continued his run of red-hot form in the Australian NBL, guiding NZ Breakers to a 93-77 win over Adelaide 36ers at Launceston.
Dropping 15 points a game for the season, Delany has proved particularly effective over the past five outings, averaging 20 points over that stretch.
Against the Sixers, he notched up 23 points, including three three-pointers, as his team dominated from the start, running up a six-point lead in the opening quarter and extending it to 20 in the final period.
When these two teams last met in February, the Breakers blew their rivals out of the water 106-62 at the NBL Cup in Melbourne.
This time, they had to overcome a triple-double performance from NBA-bound teen Josh Giddey, who compiled 12 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists to keep his side competitive.
But they had little answer to a balanced scoring effort from the Breakers, with captain Tom Abercrombie contributing 19 points and equalling Mika Vukona's club appearance record, and American Levi Randolph and Tall Blacks shooter Corey Webster chipping in 15 apiece.
They also outscored their opponents by eight from the free-throw line and pressured them into almost twice as many errors to fuel a 24-6 advantage in points off turnovers. Point guard William Mcdowell-White had 13 assists and four steals.
"We came with the right attitude in the first half, but we had to fix a few things defensively," says coach Dan Shamir. "Once we did that and got a few more stops, playing with speed and sharing the good ball, today went out way."
Leading by 10 points late in the third quarter, the Breakers kept Adelaide scoreless for four minutes to clinch the contest early in the final stanza, before running their bench.
Delany puts his recent scoring tear down to improved cohesion within his team, which has suffered a string of injuries and had to recruit replacement players - notably Randolph and Mcdowell-White - across the season.
"Just the way we've been playing, really... most of the time anyway," he reflects. "Playing what's in front of me, being in the moment, being aggressive."
The Breakers are now 8-15 for the season - still six wins out of a top-four semi-final spot with 13 games remaining - and next face league leaders Melbourne United on Wednesday.
NZ Breakers 93 (Delany 23, Abercrombie 19, Randolph & Webster 15, Iverson 10) Adelaide 36ers 77 (Johnson 20, Humphries 14, Crocker 13, Giddey 12)