Melbourne United have survived a late Sydney Kings comeback to claim a dramatic 84-82 win.
United guard Mitch McCarron stepped up when it mattered most, tipping in the game-winning basket with 2.4 seconds to play at Melbourne Arena to secure a fourth consecutive win for the NBL defending champions.
United led 77-70 with four minutes to play but former league MVP Jerome Randle sparked Sydney's comeback with a pair of three-pointers before Brian Bowen put the visitors ahead.
Melbourne's Casper Ware put United back on top with one minute remaining before Randle tied the game from the free throw line.
Randle could not nail a three-pointer with 15 seconds left but McCarron tapped home a shot by Ware to improve Melbourne's win-loss record to 9-3 heading into the FIBA international window.
"I thought it was going to go in so I was jumping just to tip it if it missed," McCarron said about Ware's shot on United's final possession.
"I didn't really know but I just thought there was not long left so I'll jump and see what happens - fortunately, it went in."
Randle came out firing in his match-up against Ware, tallying 15 points in the first quarter alone on his way to a game-high 35 points.
But Ware helped guide Melbourne back from a seven-point deficit in the second quarter, finishing with 23 points and six assists while Josh Boone compiled 16 points and 10 rebounds with McCarron adding 14.
Kevin Lisch (13) and former United guard Kyle Adnam (10) provided support for the Kings while Andrew Bogut finished with three points, 11 rebounds and two blocks.
Sydney coach Andrew Gaze was proud of his team's effort in chasing down United's fourth-quarter lead but disappointed they could not finish the job.
"I thought for a significant portion of that game, our defence was really good," Gaze said.
"I think that was what ultimately gave us a chance in the end but having said that, an offensive board cost us pretty dearly."