An Anthony Drmic triple with 2.5 seconds remaining has handed Brisbane a wild 101-100 overtime NBL win over New Zealand Breakers in Cairns.
Drmic’s dagger capped off a resilient comeback by the Bullets who trailed for the majority of Thursday’s contest in both regular and overtime.
The Breakers seemed to have the game in the bag as marksman Tom Abercrombie hit three triples in the extra period to give his side a 99-95 lead with 15 seconds remaining.
Brisbane then fouled Peyton Siva and he made one of his two from the stripe as the Bullets launched down court for Tanner Krebs to nail a three bringing the score to 100-98.
The Breakers opted to heave a pass down court with five seconds on the clock but it was intercepted by Deng Deng who found Drmic for a hail mary three from the right corner that rattled in to score Brisbane just their eighth win of the season.
In a see-sawing contest, the Breakers seemed to have Brisbane’s number as they raced to a 10-point lead at the break behind hot shooting.
Nailing 71 per cent from two-point range and 10 of their 17 attempts from three in the opening half, New Zealand were dominant in their two-man game with Yannick Wetzell as their pick-and-roll cut Brisbane to shreds.
But the Bullets rallied in the second half, earning the lead early in the fourth with an aggressive Robert Franks attacking the paint, before New Zealand wrangled momentum back to take the contest down to the wire.
A scrappy final minute of regular time saw the sides locked at 88-88, but Will McDowell-White’s attempted game winner was short before Lamar Patterson got a good look that missed.
Franks led all scorers with a NBL career-high 31 points, while Lamar Patterson added 17 and veteran guard Jason Cadee had a double-double with 11 points and 11 assists (career best).
The win marked the first time Brisbane have won this season after having 50 or more points put on them in the opening half.
Relieved Bullets coach James Duncan said it was great to be on the winning side of a buzzer-beater after numerous down-to-the-wire contests this season.
“Credit to the boys for continuing to fight and fight and fight and put themselves in a position to win the game at the end,” he said.
“It’s been a crazy season but we’ve experienced some of those situations where we’re just a little bit unlucky, and tonight luck was on our side.
“It feels great and I’m really happy for the guys because they’ve been experiencing the other side and it’s been pretty frustrating throughout the season.”