The New Zealand Breakers' hopes of making the Australian NBL playoffs took a major hit when they blew a 15-point lead in the final quarter to lose 107-96 in Illawarra last night.

The Breakers were ahead for most of the match, leading by five after the first and second quarters and by 12 at the final break.

When Tom Abercrombie sank a three early in the final quarter, the Breakers looked on track for an important win which would have drawn them level with the Hawks.

But their game then disintegrated as Illawarra finished the quarter with a staggering 34-8 run which drops the seventh-placed Breakers to an 8-11 record, three wins off fourth-placed Brisbane with nine games remaining.