NBL champions Melbourne United have pulled off a thrilling second-half comeback to defeat Cairns 87-80.
Backing up from Thursday night's defeat to Illawarra in Wollongong, United scored the final eight points on Sunday afternoon at Melbourne Arena to come out on top in a see-sawing battle.
Casper Ware (34 points, six assists) gave Melbourne an 81-80 lead with 32 seconds to play and DJ Kennedy stole the ball on the Taipans' next possession, extending the lead to three from the foul line.
Kennedy grabbed a defensive rebound and dribbled the length of the court to slam home, Mitch McCarron (16 points, nine rebounds) adding a pair of free throws to cap the win.
United were slow out of the blocks, shooting one-of-14 from long range in the first half, while being outscored 21-5 in bench points, but pulled off a 17-6 run after falling behind by 12 in the second half.
Melbourne coach Dean Vickerman was pleased with the way his side responded after some poor shooting and sloppy errors in the first half.
"We went in (at halftime) and talked about how it's not who we are - we were going to make some shots in the second half," Vickerman said.
"Just make sure to stay consistent, keep doing some very simple things ... and give yourself a chance."
Looking to snap a five-match losing streak, Cairns led 55-43 in the third quarter but could not close out the match in the final minutes.
"It hurts," Taipans coach Mike Kelly said after his side came close to pulling off the upset win.
"I thought we played 35 good minutes ... built a good lead and they made some nice plays, they're a really tough team."
Melo Trimble led the Taipans with 19 points and Nathan Jawai finished with 17 points and 10 rebounds.
Veteran forward David Barlow was carried from the court after twisting his knee in the third quarter but returned to help United's second-half charge.
Chris Goulding made his return from a knee injury, finishing with four points in 26 minutes.