The New Zealand Breakers kept their NBL playoff hopes alive after subjecting the Cairns Taipans to a 96-78 Valentine's Day massacre in Auckland.
An offensive barrage in the second half led by Kerron Johnson and Gary Wilkinson took the Breakers from a seven-point half-time lead out to a 20 point lead by three-quarter time, and they coasted to the finish from there.
The victory takes the Breakers into fifth place, one spot outside the playoffs, level with Cairns on wins but ahead due to losing two fewer games.
The Breakers started quickly, quick baskets to Thomas Abercrombie helping push them to an early lead and five quick points from Reuben Te Rangi helped them take a 24-17 lead at the end of the first quarter.
The second quarter was a see-saw affair, with the Taipans drawing level early in the quarter before the Breakers stretched their lead to 11, and the Taipans then got the lead back to seven at half-time.
Whatever was said during the break seemed to inspire Johnson in particular. His driving to the basket helped the Breakers score the first nine points of the third quarter, and the team went on another nine-point run midway through the quarter to stretch the lead to 20 points.
By three-quarter time the Breakers were 75-55 ahead, and they did enough to maintain the intensity to finish off the game.
Wilkinson was a standout at both ends of the court, leading the scoring with 22 points and the rebounding with nine.
"Shots are falling for me right now, guys are finding me," Wilkinson said, saying the team believed they could still bridge the gap with fourth-placed Sydney.
"We've been right there in almost every game so we're not out of it by a long shot.
Stephen Weigh was the Taipans' best player, scoring 13 points and taking seven rebounds.