Aari McDonald is shaping as an early contender for the WNBL's buy of the year after a season-high haul of points helped the Perth Lynx maintain their unbeaten start.
A former first-round WNBA draft pick, the American guard had 19 of her 34 points in the first half when Friday's 86-76 home defeat of Bendigo Spirit was at its closest.
Late in the first quarter, McDonald hit a three-pointer and deep two from the corner in quick succession to turn a deadlock into a lead the Lynx (3-0) carried into the first change.
A late lay-up from McDonald confirmed the win by giving the Lynx an eight-point lead as the final minute ticked down. She finished with six rebounds and three assists.
With 27 points, McDonald is leading the league in points per game for players who have lined up more than once, way ahead of Adelaide's Isabel Borlase (18.5) in second place.
On Sunday, a 26-12 fourth quarter helped the Melbourne Boomers claw back from 14 points down to break Bendigo's hearts 76-74.
Opals representative Keely Froling hit three three-pointers in the final term before Jordin Canada (26 points, eight rebounds, seven assists) snatched a one-point lead in the final minute, having played the entire game.
Bendigo captain Kelsey Griffin was the best of a beaten bunch with 33 points and had a chance to snatch the lead in the final seconds but her three-point attempt missed.
The Boomers (4-0) kept their unbeaten start alive.
Bendigo (0-4) are one of two sides that are yet to taste victory after last season's wooden spooners Canberra Capitals (0-4) dropped two games in round three.
The Townsville Fire bounced back from last week's loss to Southside that ended their 17-game winning streak and defeated the Caps 85-73 on Saturday.
The reigning champions led all day in front of their home crowd but the Caps managed to cut down a deficit that stretched to as many as 23 points in the final quarter.
Recruit Alice Kunek led the scorers with 27 for the Fire including five from nine beyond the arc, while Caps guard Jade Melbourne came up with a staggering 15 assists in a losing effort.
It came after the Caps dropped their first game of the round 86-81 to the Sydney Flames.