NBL: Illawarra Hawks come back to beat Brisbane Bullets

American import Brian Conklin's team-high 17 points has sparked Illawarra to an 86-78 NBL victory over Brisbane in Wollongong.

The Hawks trailed by as many as 10 in the first half before wearing down a Bullets side coming off Thursday night's home win over the Perth Wildcats.

Veteran centre David Andersen and Tim Coenraad finished with 12 points apiece for Illawarra, while Cedric Jackson added 11.

"Brian was outstanding," Illawarra coach Rob Beveridge said.

"We have to go to him - it's our bread and butter. To score 46 points in the paint to 28 was outstanding. That's what we have to do.

"I'm so excited about this group. We're just scratching the surface in terms of our growth and potential."

Bullets guard Cameron Gliddon led all scorers with 24 and Reuben Te Rangi had 14 for the visitors.

Brisbane came out firing at will from the perimeter, attempting a whopping 17 three-point shots and sinking eight in the first period alone to set up a 30-22 quarter-time lead.

Gliddon was particularly hot, connecting on five from seven three-point bombs.

Brisbane stretched the margin to 10 before the home team tightened the defensive screws and pulled ahead by a point.

The Hawks dominated the remainder of the period, out-scoring their opponents 24-3 during one long stretch for a 51-42 half-time lead.

Conklin and Andersen led their team with 12 points apiece, while Gliddon had 18 for Brisbane, all from the three-point line.

The Bullets cut the deficit to a single point early in the second half before the Hawks responded again to take an 81-72 lead into the final quarter.

They built a 16-point lead and answered every Brisbane challenge down the stretch.

"We came out with good intent and played on the front foot offensively and defensively but we struggled at the offensive end in the second quarter and gave up too many easy scores," Brisbane coach Andrej Lemanis said.

"Maybe we ran out of gas a bit in the second quarter and parts of the third but the spirit was there and there's lots of good stuff to build on."

Illawarra face an away game against titleholders Melbourne United on Monday night, while Brisbane host Adelaide on Thursday to tip off round four.