LaMELO Ball has called time on his season and Illawarra looked to have done the same on Saturday, with a second-half capitulation seeing them go down 106-77 to the Bullets in Brisbane.
In a continuation of what has to be an infuriating trend for coach Matt Flinn, the Hawks drew level at 47 apiece at halftime only to concede 16 unanswered points in a 36-17 quarter for the hosts. It saw the Bullets lead by 19 at three-quarter-time, with the score ultimately blowing out to an embarrassing 29 points by the final buzzer.
LaMar Patterson showed you shouldn't make him mad with 20 points, 12 after what proved a match-turning technical foul early in the third. The MVP candidate dropped 10 of the 16 points that took the game away from the visitors, and added nine boards in a commanding display.
He was one of six players in double figures for the hosts, with Cam Gliddon dropping 11 of his 16 points in the opening term. Matt Hodgson also finished with 16 points, as did Nathan Sobey, while Jason Cadee had 15 points from the bench.
Will Magnay also had 11 points and eight boards but it was his six blocks that proved most impressive in a dominant display in the paint from the Bullets big men.
Import Darington Hobson became the latest player added to the Hawks injury list, with Angus Glover making the most of his first career start and finishing with 18 points and six rebounds in a spirited effort.
Todd Blanchfield had 17 but that was about where the Hawks resistance ended, with no other player cracking double digits on a forgettable trip north.
Producing their second upset over Sydney in Wollongong this Friday will require a huge turnaround as the huge toll of injuries and disruptions appeared to drop on Flinn's young roster with five games remaining in their campaign.
Gliddon had five early on a 7-2 break for the hosts, but Glover matched him with five of his own to make the most of his start and keep things tight early.
Gliddon kept things ticking over for the Bullets with two more triples to take his tally to 11 for term, but back to back threes from Glover and Tim Coenraad saw the Hawks take a four-point lead on an 8-0 run that forced Lemanis into a timeout.
Cadee and Dan Grida traded threes when play resumed, with Grida adding a neat finish at the rim. Cadee did the same at the other end to cut the margin back to two in the Hawks favour through one quarter.
Sam Froling had four to start the second on an 8-4 run that saw the Hawks lead swell to six. Hodgson had six of his own to peg things back and the margin was back at two when Sunday Dech and EJ Singler traded threes.
Magnay made his presence felt with six points from the bench and two big blocks on Froling and Dech, with Sobey providing and assist and a transition three that gave the hosts a five-point cushion and forced Flinn to call time.
It slowed the hosts up, with Naar grabbing four down the stretch of the half, including a neat lay-up that beat the buzzer and locked the scores at 47 apiece at halftime.
Blanchfield and Sobey traded shots from the line early in the third, the latter on his side's first trip to the line for the game. Blanchfield grabbed another freebie when Patterson was tee'd up, but the MVP candidate responded with a steal and 10 points on a 14-0 run that forced a Hawks timeout.
Hodgson pushed their lead out beyond double digits with Blanchfield finally halting the 16-0 run from the line. It little to slow the Bullets, with Cadee and Sobey both nailing long bombs in response.
Gliddon had an alley-oop dish for Maganay - the big man also nailing the and-one - and his fourth three as the margin ballooned to 18. Cadee's remarkable falling-away corner three on the buzzer told the story of the term that saw the Bullets lead by 19 heading into the final quarter.
The absolutely bolted the door shut with an unanswered seven points to start the fourth, punctuated by a three from Cadee that again saw the Hawks burn another timeout.
It was all one-way traffic from there, with the Bullets causing to their biggest win of the season and keeping their finals hopes well and truly alive.