The Auckland Pirates have clawed their way back from a double digit deficit to edge the Saints 94-91 in their National Basketball League game in Wellington.
Hayden Allen and Lindsay Tait combined for 50 points in front of a 4,000-plus crowd while Alex Pledger also came to life in the second half for the visitors, collecting a double double of 17 points and 11 rebounds.
It's the Pirates' 12th win, which puts them on par with Hawke's Bay in the race for the regular season title.
Auckland play the Nelson Giants on Sunday and if they win, and the Hawks lose to the Manawatu Jets, they will finish on top.
In Invercargill the Southland Sharks defeated the Harbour Heat 96-81 to avoid the wooden spoon.
The Jets continued their rich vein of form, easily beating the Taranaki Mountain Airs 104-77 in Palmerston North for their fifth straight win.