Melbourne defeated Adelaide 87-80 at home on Sunday as the Tigers moved within striking distance of fourth place on the Australian NBL ladder.
In a game memorable for the point guard battle between NBA recruit Jonny Flynn and emerging Australian star Jason Cadee who both put on a stunning fullcourt display, Melbourne started quickly and had all the answers until a late Adelaide charge made things interesting in the final minutes.
Flynn led the Tigers with 22 points and nine assists, while Seth Scott (23 points) and Chris Goulding (16) were always dangerous.
Cadee was superb with 24 points and four assists, with Daniel Johnson (25 points, 10 rebounds) and Anthony Petrie (15 points, 5 rebounds) also in double-figures.
"It's when you sit back and watch and then you have to chase a lot," 36ers coach Marty Clarke said of his team's repeated lapses.
"We chased hard, but we shouldn't get to that point where we have to chase as much. It's about seeing the situation and understanding what's about to happen, whether it's on offence or defence."
The final term was memorable for a Lucas Walker alley-oop and Anthony Petrie's spectacular reject on a Bennie Lewis dunk attempt, and while the 36ers made a courageous late charge the damage had been done.
"Obviously the result was the one we needed," Melbourne coach Chris Anstey said.
"I thought in the first half we played very well, the defensive intensity and the intent to rebound, I thought we came up with nearly every 50-50 ball we could come up with.
"But to give up 52 points in the second half of a game of basketball, it was like it was two different teams out there."