The basketball gods shone on the Brisbane Bullets as they bagged their second win of the NBL season at the Gold Coast on Saturday night, edging out Melbourne United by two points 87-85.
Spurred on by blowing a nine point lead in a home loss to New Zealand on Thursday, the Bullets, led by Stephen Holt and Shaun Bruce, achieved the win at Carrara but almost had it stolen by a last ditch attempt from United's Chris Goulding.
Goulding's effort on the buzzer from beyond halfway hit both backboard and rim but failed to fall through the net, condemning title favourites United to their third loss of the season.
Former Melbourne guard Holt rebounded from a five point effort on Thursday against New Zealand to score nine in the first quarter, and looked every bit the player who averaged more than 16 points per game while in a United uniform as he finished with 17 for the match.
Holt was backed up superbly by reserve guard Shaun Bruce, who chipped in with 13 points and two assists including a number of key baskets.
The Bullets led by as much at 16 points in the third quarter and also opened up a 12 point lead in the second quarter, but Melbourne kept coming led by Casey Prather who finished with a game high 30 points.
Brisbane led 21-15 at the end of the first quarter but by just two at the half after being up 31-19 with seven minutes remaining before the main break, Prather guiding Melbourne back into the match and a 46-44 score at half-time.
A big third quarter from Brisbane had United down 73-57 at the start of the fourth but they refused to lie down and Brisbane was lucky in the end to get the victory.
Travis Trice was huge in the fourth quarter with numerous baskets at crucial times for the home side and finished the game with 13 after recording just four in the first half.
Bullets coach Andrej Lemanis said he felt his team deserved the win but admitted he thought Goulding's last second attempt was on its way to robbing the Bullets of victory.
"The moment it left his hand it looked good, thankfully it missed," he said.
"We needed a bit of luck to go our way, we have been doing a lot of good stuff over the last three or four games in this stretch and haven't necssarily got the rewards I think we deserve from the way we have been playing and the work we have been putting in."
Lemanis was pleased with his team's defensive effort, holding the high powered United offence to 85 points after giving up 101 to the Breakers on Thursday.
"Tonight defensively, for the most part we hung in, to keep them to 85 points, is good but again we had our patches," he said.
Holt said he wanted to bring an aggressive mindset on both ends.
"Just with my personality, you know I'm very soft spoken and just laid back but when I step on that floor I've just got to turn that switch on and be aggressive," he said.
"First play of the game, coach wanted me to rip Goulding baseline, even though I missed that layup, that just started my momentum as far as trying to get to the rim and trying to be aggressive.
"Every single night, defensively, he is going to put me on one of their best perimeter guards and in this league you can't take a night off."
Lemanis was full of praise for the performance of former Cairns Taipan Bruce.
"His plus minus was nine, he had 13 points in 13 minutes, two assists and no turnovers - that is a pretty impressive game from Brucey," he said.
"He was the MVP of the QBL (Queensland Basketball League) he played that season with tremendous confidence and at times we kept saying to him 'mate, you're the Russell Westbrook of that league, your triple doubles continue to just keep rolling out game after game and what we want from you is that confidence and play with that sort of intent when you come back into the NBL, don't take a step back and be subservient to others, you are good enough to go ahead and play that way'.
"His pace is something that is difficult for other teams to handle - it's as good as anyone's in the league."
Brisbane's win in what was their fourth game in nine days, which included a trip to Phoenix to play the NBA's Phoenix Suns, gives them the same record as United, at two wins and three losses.