The New Zealand Breakers have beaten the Perth Wildcats 83-77 at the North Shore Events Centre in a battle befitting the two best teams in the ANBL basketball Championship.
In front of their fifth-straight sell-out crowd, the Breakers secured their fifth-straight victory by scoring 17 unanswered points in the third quarter to take control of the contest.
American Kevin Lisch led all scorers with 20 points for Perth, but compatriot Gary Wilkinson had 18 for the Breakers and Cedric Jackson a 15-point, 10-assist double.
Tom Abercrombie, Jackson and Alex Pledger ignited a 15-2 run that swept New Zealand into a double-figure lead midway through the opening period, taking a 31-24 quarter-time lead on 75 percent shooting from the field and eight assists.
Perth roared past the Breakers early in the second thanks to six straight points from giant Luke Nevill, and only a pair of threes from CJ Bruton kept the home team within two points at half-time.
The Breakers lifted after the break, luring their opponents into early foul trouble and overwhelming them on the scoreboard.
The home side's superior conversion from the field of 47 percent and 10-of-22 from the arc proved the difference.
The Breakers are now a game ahead of the Wildcats at the top of the table.