The Wellington Saints are one game away from National Basketball League history after fighting off the Canterbury Rams 94-73 in their semifinal clash.
They were given an early scare by a Rams side which slowed down the pace and bombed threes, but that Rams resistance could only last three quarters, as the Saints prevailed to move to their season record to 19-0.
The victory puts them just one win away from being the first side to go through a NBL season unbeaten, and further underlines the extreme lengths it will take to topple the league's most successful franchise.
The catalyst to their victory was classy forward Tai Wesley, who again brought his best in a must-win environment, dropping 36 points on a staggeringly efficient 16/22 shooting.
Wesley has won the last two NBL Finals MVP awards, and will be favoured for a three-peat after his brutal post-up game kept the Saints in the contest early.
The Saints were under fire from a barrage of Rams first quarter threes, with McKenzie Moore running a slow-tempo offence which created a slew of open looks against a big Saints lineup.
Nine threes were canned in the quarter as the Rams led 29-18, with the Saints preferring to get their work done inside through Wesley, and on the break through Shea Ili.
The contrast of styles created an intriguing battle, with the Saints compiling 64 points in the paint to the Rams' 16, though the Rams' hot shooting gave them the early ascendancy.
Wesley and Ili kept the Saints close, giving them a one point lead at halftime, before they received assistance from the NBL's leading scorer, Corey Webster.
Webster's shot wasn't hitting to start, and the Rams were defending him well, but he turned provider, finishing with nine assists to go with six rebounds and 12 points.
As he picked things up, Wesley continued to dominate down low, and the Saints turned on one of their trademark 10-0 runs to build a seven point lead going into the final quarter.
Any hopes of a Rams comeback was quickly vanquished as the Saints put on another 10-0 run to put the result within doubt, and stamp their authority on the league once more.
"We knew they were going to come out firing," said Saints small forward Leon Henry. "They're a very talented offensive team. I'm just glad the boys regrouped and weathered the storm."
The Saints will take on the winner of tonight's second semifinal between the Southland Sharks and the Supercity Rangers in the final at 5.00pm tomorrow.