Showing off their new ruthless approach, the Wollongong Hawks maintained their perfect start to the season with an emphatic 84-66 demolition of the Townsville Crocodiles last night at WIN Entertainment Centre.
The Hawks joined Perth at the top of the ladder as the only unbeaten teams, making it three wins from three games.
Leading the charge for Wollongong was the bench brigade of Adris Deleon (15 points, eight rebounds, four assists, two steals), Dave Gruber (14 points, four rebounds, two blocks) and Dan Jackson (five points, three rebounds).
Oscar Forman tallied 10 points and 15 rebounds, Glen Saville had eight points and seven rebounds, while Rhys Martin added 11 points and Larry Davidson had nine points and six rebounds to complete a clinical all-round team performance.
Wollongong connected on 49 per cent of their shots and held the Crocs to 32 per cent. They also destroyed the visitors under the boards, out-rebounding them 47-30.
It was a bitter "homecoming" for former Hawks star Gary Ervin.
Chosen as the NBL MVP when he played with Wollongong in the 2010-11 season, Ervin jogged out to a mixed reception, though the cheers outnumbered the jeers.
He finished with nine points and six assists, but only knocked down 3/12 shots.
Crocs guard Pete Crawford quickly silenced the crowd's early rev-up, nailing a three in the opening seconds.
Saville responded with a three of his own, but the Hawks didn't score again for almost four minutes.
They took their first lead of the game midway through the quarter before giving it up again a minute later.
Gruber wasted no time making his presence felt, scoring a couple of buckets inside to spark a surge which never really eased until the full-time siren.
Down 13-12, the Hawks peeled off eight straight points to close the period with a 20-13 lead.
They scored another six unanaswered points to start the second quarter before the Crocs finally broke the drought with Russell Hinder's three.
But Wollongong ripped off another seven straight to build a 33-16 lead.
They held a comfortable 45-30 half-time lead which they never lost.
Hawks will be out for their fourth win in a row when they visit the Adelaide 36ers this weekend.