A season-high 28-point haul from Nathan Sobey has helped Brisbane hold off Perth to chalk up a morale-boosting 106-95 overtime victory in the NBL .
The Bullets were desperate for a much-needed win on Thursday night at Nissan Arena following a 116-79 drubbing against the New Zealand Breakers in Sam Mackinnon's debut as interim coach.
With scores locked at 92-92, Sobey and DJ Mitchell missed potential game-winning shots on the final possession of the fourth quarter to send the game into OT.
But Brisbane dominated the next five minutes to outscore Perth 14-3 and end a two-match losing skid with their fourth win of the season.
The extra period came after a drama-packed final quarter that saw the Wildcats come back from 10 points down to lead 90-88 with Bryce Cotton poised to pull off more late-game heroics.
But the Bullets recovered from the loss of Tanner Krebs to a nasty ankle injury and held their composure in crunch time to hand Mackinnon, a former league MVP and two-time champion in his playing career, his first win as a head coach.
"For me personally, that's a really different feeling than I've ever had before my life," Mackinnon said about his experience of the coaching role.
"I guess the control factor is something I haven't experienced and just the relief when you start to make some shots, I was like 'thank God' so I just enjoyed the last minute or so."
Mackinnon was also impressed with his squad's resilience to bounce back from a big loss to the Breakers with key big men Aron Baynes and Tyrell Harrison still sidelined through injury.
"I'll say that they're a good group of human beings. We've got some adversity now with injuries and I think they just fully embraced that tonight and sacrificed and did whatever they could for their teammates," Mackinnon said.
Sobey continues to ramp up his game following an off-season knee injury, earning the praise of Wildcats coach John Rillie for his ability to execute in the overtime period with the game on the line.
"They hit some big buckets at the end of the shot clock, especially Sobey's (three-pointer) like it was well and truly under three seconds on the clock," Rillie said after Perth's late-game fadeout.
"You know, that's why he's on the Boomers and he's won a bronze medal. He made a big shot, that's what the elite players do in their sleep."
Cotton paced the Wildcats with 30 points and Brady Manek added 17 but the visitors ran out of steam down the stretch and are in danger of slumping to a third straight loss as they head to New Zealand to face the Breakers on Saturday.