Melbourne United's grip on a NBL top-four berth looks increasingly fragile after a 90-68 drubbing by the New Zealand Breakers in Auckland.
The visitors recorded their lowest score of the season in a disjointed offensive display on Sunday - their fourth defeat in five games.
It reduces their record to 11-11, barely staving off a host of teams clamouring to replace them in fourth.
One of those teams is the Breakers (11-12), who have completed a dream week after Friday's upset of leaders Sydney in New Plymouth.
American guard Scotty Hopson led the way for the Kiwi outfit in both games, drilling 22 points against Melbourne, to go with nine rebounds and two steals.
Four of his teammates registered double figures, along with centre Rob Loe, who scored 14 points and played a part in containing former Breakers powerhouse Shawn Long.
Long, nevertheless, top-scored for Melbourne with 18 points.
Next best was 13 from captain Chris Goulding, who appeared to struggle with a lower leg injury in the first half but played out the game.
Melbourne guard Melo Trimble couldn't fathom their listless effort and expected better in their next two critical fixtures, against leading teams the Kings and Perth.
"The Breakers came out here and played like they were the best team in the league and we just didn't match their energy," he told Sky Sport NZ.
"But we can still make the four. We're a good team and we've just got to find that spark to help us get there."
After scoring the first five points, the intensity gradually drained from Melbourne's game. They failed to hit 20 points in any quarter, while the Breakers managed to clear that mark in every stanza.
Melbourne's previous low score this season was 75 points on Boxing Day against Cairns, a result which started their losing run.
Hopson said the Breakers would take renewed confidence into Saturday's match away to the second-placed Wildcats.
"We took down two big teams this week. Hopefully, we get another one next week," he said.
"Every game we've got is pretty much a must-win situation.
"We're just playing really competitive basketball and, hopefully, we can keep that up down the stretch."
Australian Associated Press