Any lingering doubts about the Wollongong Hawks' championship credentials have surely been blown away after yesterday's 77-63 road victory over Adelaide.
The Hawks shrugged off a terrible start - they trailed 10-0 early - and fought back to dominate the 36ers 30-14 in the final quarter.
Guard Adris Deleon was the man of the hour with a game-high 23 points, seven assists and four steals.
Deleon was superb in crunch time, boldly drilling a three-pointer to break a 56-all deadlock and give the visitors their first lead of the game with just over five minutes remaining.
He had 12 points in the fourth period and stamped himself as the red-hot favourite for NBL Sixth Man of the Year honours.
Lance Hurdle (16 points) also shone for the Hawks, while Larry Davidson (12 points, seven rebounds), Dave Gruber (eight points, 11 rebounds), Rhys Martin (nine points) and Glen Saville (seven) all played key roles.
Adelaide led at every change but failed to cope with the Hawks' tough defence and slick offence down the stretch.
Wollongong made 48 per cent of their shots and out-rebounded the Sixers 35-30.
The league-leading Hawks (4-0) have set up a highly anticipated top of the table showdown with the Perth Wildcats this Sunday at WIN Entertainment Centre.
A slow start on the road is never good, but the Hawks looked half-alseep in the opening five minutes yesterday.
The Sixers bolted to a 10-0 lead before Wollongong finally scored, but Adelaide were firing on all cylinders and stretched the margin to 17-5.
Gruber, Deleon and Dan Jackson gave the Hawks a lift from the bench, but Gibson couldn't miss from the outside and Johnson's damaging work inside helped the home team to a 21-12 quarter-time lead.
Adelaide knocked down 56 per cent of their shots compared to a misreable 25 per cent for Wollongong.
Sixers centre Luke Schenscher scored on a rolling skyhook to start the second period, but the Hawks were slowly finding their feet, particularly at the defensive end.
Davidson nailed a three and Deleon dived after a loose ball to ignite a fast break, as Adelaide's lead was cut to two.
Sixers forward Mitch Creek scored on a layup and free throw to snap Wollongong's surge and the margin was soon back up to nine.
Hurdle gave the Hawks something to smile about with a three on the half-time buzzer, but Adelaide were up 36-30 at the main break.
Hurdle had tallied a team-high eight points, Davidson had Gruber combined for 11 points and 11 rebounds, while Deleon had five points, three steals and three assists.
Wollongong captain Oscar Forman wasn't his usual productive self, finishing the half with zero points on 0/3 shooting, one rebound and two turnovers.
Adelaide led the rebound battle 20-18 and restricted their opponents to just 3/13 from three-point range.
The Hawks started positively in the third quarter well and were only down by two midway through the period.
Adelaide appeared to take control with a 7-0 run, but Wollongong steadied again and trailed 49-47 with a quarter to play.
Hurdle was up to 14, while Davidson had 12 and Deleon 11.
The fourth quarter belonged to the Hawks and they never looked like losing in the closing minutes.