The Breakers followed their best defensive performance of the season with one of the worst to lose against Adelaide this afternoon.
Two days after shutting down Townsville to win their second straight, the Breakers fell to a 36ers side missing a pair of top players.
The Kiwi club (4-3) blew out Adelaide (3-2) by 21 points when they met on this side of the Tasman earlier this season but the result was reversed courtesy of an offensive outburst form Adam Gibson and Brendan Teys.
The guard pair poured in a combined 57 points to decide the game and more than make up for the absence of leading scorer Jamar Wilson and Mitch Creek.
"Fifty-seven points from any combination is tough to take," said assistant coach Paul Henare. "Those two guys put their hands up and played really well.
"While they obviously hit some tough shots at different stages, I thought they got a couple of easy looks early in the game which gave them that confidence to keep going."
The duo allowed Adelaide to pull away and, despite an frenetic fightback in the fourth quarter, the Breakers fell just short. The revival was led by Tom Abercrombie, who scored 13 of his season-high 25 points in the final period to give his side a chance to sneak a win late.
But, with less than a minute on the clock, Corey Webster took the ball outside of the arc early in the shot clock and rimmed out what would have been a go-ahead three-pointer.
"These guys shoot the ball at such a high clip, so I back him 100 per cent," Henare said. "Deano and I had a look at it afterwards - do you spend more time with it and burn more time off the clock or do you keep going with it?
"But it was a wide-open look and we back our players to knock down wide-open shots."
The Breakers were out-muscled on the boards, losing that battle 42-31, while their 28 fouls were far too many to cede, even when factoring in a few questionable calls.
Cedric Jackson enjoyed another strong offensive outing, scoring 20 points to go along with his six assists, while Ekene Ibekwe swatted six shots a couple of days after Dean Vickerman stressed the need for the Nigerian to emphasise that part of his game.
But the efforts of the imports went in vain as the Breakers fell too deep into a hole during a flat first three quarters.
"Sometimes when you see that sort of desperation and energy at the end of a game," Henare said, "you wonder where it was at the start."
36ers 86 (Abercrombie 25, Jackson 20, Webster 13)
Breakers 93 (Gibson 34, Teys 23, Petrie 13)