The New Zealand Breakers have beaten the Sydney Kings 105-87 in their crunch Australian basketball league clash in Auckland.
The Breakers led by 19 points at half-time. Swingman Tom Abercrombie top-scored with 20 points while six Breakers got into double figures on offence.
The three-time defending champions needed the win over the fourth-placed Kings at Vector Arena to realistically keep alive their playoff hopes... and the home side did just that, to move up to fifth equal on the ANBL ladder, just behind the Kings.
The two teams square off again in Sydney next Saturday night, when the Breakers can seal the series over the Kings with another victory.
One sour note for the hosts was a knee injury to shooting guard Daryl Corletto, though coach Dean Vickerman wasn't too concerned afterwards about the Australian veteran, saying Corletto will be back for the return match in Sydney.
And it seems the Breakers will have the services of foundation player Casey Frank for a few games yet - Vickerman says an MRI scan has showed their centre Alex Pledger needs up to three more weeks rest before hitting the court again.
That means the Tall Black is still perhaps four or five games away from being fit to play again, so it looks like commentator-turned-recalled-big man Frank will go around again for another month or so.