NZ Breakers have been edged 85-79 by Perth Wildcats in a thrilling overtime encounter at Launceston.
Celebrating captain Tom Abercrombie's 350th Australian NBL appearance, the Breakers weren't able to mark their veteran talisman's milestone with a win, instead finding a way to lose yet another close game to record their third straight defeat - their seventh in their past eight games.
The Kiwi side began with a roar, bolting to a 23-9 at the end of the first quarter.
Wildcats star Bryce Cotton then took control, leading his team back into the contest, trading buckets with Breakers star Finn Delany on a night where both teams struggled to put the ball in the basket.
After a go-ahead lay-up and a pair of free throws from new Aussie point guard William McDowell-White to put the Breakers ahead by three at the end of regulation, Cotton stepped up to hit an absurd off-balance, three-point buzzer-beater to send the game to overtime, where the Wildcats rode their momentum to victory.
The manner of defeat was devastating for the Breakers, who now fall to 5-14 for the season, with their hopes of a playoff berth all but over.
Again, Delany was the star of the show for the Breakers, continuing his sizzling run of form with 25 points and nine rebounds.
Abercrombie was quiet in his milestone night, with just nine points and three rebounds, while Corey Webster had another off-shooting night, scoring nine points on just 4/15 from the field, though he managed to dish eight assists.
Cotton finished with a monster 34-point haul, including 15/17 from the free-throw line.
The Breakers move on to face Brisbane Bullets on Friday.