The New Zealand Breakers have made it seven wins in a row, downing fierce rivals Perth 88-84 in Auckland to consolidate their lead on top of the Australian NBL table.
Wildcats guard Bryce Cotton produced a game-high 26 points on Thursday night at Spark Arena and he was supported by Jean-Pierre Cotton (15) and Jesse Wagstaffe (11).
But the Breakers' ability to share the scoring workload again proved significant.
The home side had DJ Newbill (17), Kirk Penney (14), Shane Ili (13) and Edgar Sosa (12) all reaching double figures.
They also showed once more their dominance on the glass, winning the rebound battle.
The result took the Breakers' record for the season to seven wins and one defeat, which came in round one against Cairns. Perth drop to 5-2.
The clash was a top-of-table showdown between two clubs who had shared the past eight titles, with four apiece.
It was also the Wildcats' first match since stalwart Matt Knight, a three-time championship winner, announced his retirement because of the latest in a long list of head knocks.
The visitors led early, athletic forward Tokoto coming out of the blocks hard with eight of their first 10 points.
But an Ili three-pointer late in the opening quarter put the Breakers 19-17 ahead and they stayed in front for most of the game.
They showed good execution at both ends of the court to lead 41-38 at halftime and 64-53 with a quarter to go.
Perth made a late charge, but the Breakers were able to close out the contest.
The two clubs will travel more than 5000km to Perth, where they will meet again on Sunday.