Breakers' remarkable push for playoffs gets major boost after Bullets falter again

The Breakers have made their way into the ANBL's top four thanks to the Brisbane Bullets suffering back-to-back defeats in the penultimate round of the regular season, leaving a frantic race for the last finals berth.

Sek Henry of the Breakers takes on the defence during the NBL match between the Brisbane Bullets and the New Zealand Breakers. Source: Getty

Two days after going down 91-87 at home to the Breakers, the Bullets couldn't atone against the Wildcats in Perth on Sunday, bowing 85-72 to drop to fifth and trail New Zealand on differential.

Having won six straight before this week, Brisbane's offence failed to fire twice.

They were overly-reliant on a closely-marked Lamar Patterson in Perth, while Byrce Cotton sunk 25 for the Wildcats - including a perfect 14 trips to the free throw line - and Nick Kay tallied 23, along with eight rebounds and five assists.

The Breakers, Bullets and Melbourne United are all a chance to snare fourth next week.

The Breakers (14-13) have the easiest fixture, at home to lowly South East Melbourne Phoenix while Brisbane (14-13) meet Cairns and Melbourne (13-13) finish with two games, against the Titans and the Phoenix.

Percentage differential will be used if teams finish tied on the ladder, a statistic which currently favours Melbourne, narrowly from New Zealand.

The top three berths are virtually cemented in place.

Second-placed Perth's win gives them a tiny chance of overhauling Sydney for the minor premiership, although they'd need the Kings to lose badly at home to last- placed Illawarra next week to have any hope.

Sydney needed overtime to see off the Phoenix 99-96 in Sunday's other game, their rhythm still off-key without injured Andrew Bogut.

Cairns ensured they'll finish in the top three with a thumping 99-80 defeat of Adelaide, delivering the final nail in the playoff hopes of the struggling 36ers.

The red-hot Taipans, on a four-game tear, could yet place second but will need to beat both Melbourne and Brisbane to have any chance.

Either way, the form of Cam Oliver suggests they will be a finals force after the American's 31 points-11 rebounds double in Adelaide.

Melbourne ensured they remain in the post-season hunt, thrashing the hapless Hawks 95-72, achieving coach Dean Vickerman's goal of a large winning margin to improve their percentage.