The 36ers ended a five-game losing streak with a thrilling 79-74 win over Townsville Crocodiles at Adelaide Arena.
The hosts led for most of the match but had to withstand a spirited Townsville fight-back.
The Crocs' Jacob Holmes levelled the scores in the final minute with two free throws, but out of the ensuing time-out, Adelaide executed perfectly for a Diamon Simpson dunk and then held its nerve from the charity stripe.
Adelaide centre Daniel Johnson (20 points, seven rebounds), guard Darren Ng and Simpson (both 19 points) were outstanding, while Crocs guard Eddie Gill top-scored for the visitors with 20 points.
Tension was high in the final period with both sides producing a series of turnovers and struggling to find the baskets.
The 36ers still led by 10 points with over six minutes remaining before Croc Elvin Mims inspired a late surge.
In the final 75 seconds Peter Crawford connected from deep and Holmes tied the game, but Adelaide held on to break its unwanted streak.
Townsville coach Paul Woolpert was involved in a confrontation with the referees after Simpson's dunk with 32 seconds to play.
He believed the match officials made the wrong call at the time, but says the decision did not lose his side the game.
However, there will be a complaint to the league.
"In all honesty we did not deserve to win that game. We got out-played, out-hustled, out-worked and it's inexcusable for a team that is fighting for its play-off life," he said.
Adelaide coach Marty Clarke says he had always expected a Crocs fight-back.
"They are a top four team and it's a league where games are usually close," he said.
"They got back to even the scores and for us to then pull away was a huge step forward for us."
AAPTags: sport, basketball, adelaide-5000, sa, australia First posted February 12, 2012 21:13:15