The margin was closer, ridiculously closer.
This time though, the Southland Sharks couldn't match anything like their crippling 38-point opening round win over the Nelson Giants in Invercargill, instead having to dig deep before snatching a thrilling 100-94 overtime win in their return National Basketball League clash at Nelson's Trafalgar Centre on Thursday.
With two free-throws by the Giants' lively new Australian import Kyle Adnam tying up the scores at 84-84 with 23 seconds remaining, the Sharks couldn't deliver against a desperate Giants' defence in regulation time.
But they ultimately denied the Giants their first win of the season, maintaining the slightest of edges they'd held for virtually the entire night to outscore the Giants 16-10 in overtime.
The Sharks biggest lead at any stage of the contest was 11 points, the Giants levelling the scores several times without ever pulling ahead.
The Sharks led 27-23 after a tight first quarter and 51-46 at halftime. That scenario hadn't changed by the three-quarter mark, the Sharks clinging to a tenuous 69-62 lead as the Giants battled grimly to stay in touch.
It was hard work for the Sharks as the Giants fought to within two points with 2:50 left on the clock. Two Dion Prewster free-throws levelled the scores with 1:04 left before a Mitch Norton two re-established the Sharks' lead.
Adnam then set the Hangar alight to put the Giants within a sniff of their first win of the season, before the Sharks ultimately held their nerve to take a desperate win.
Sharks coach - and former Giants player - Judd Flavell, knew exactly what to expect from the resurgent Giants.
"Hats off to the Giants, they came out there and really gave it to us and made it a real dogfight," he said.
"That' s probably a 'backs to the wall' attitude and they had a lot to prove, especially at home and after the last couple of results. But we weren't really expecting anything less."
Still, Flavell was happy with his players' response as they frequently double-teamed Finn Delany to keep a key Giants' threat to just 10 points.
"Yeah, I was really happy down the stretch there and the way we were able to tighten the screws up defensively and not give anything up easily."
Sharks forward Nick Kay led all scorers with 24 points and combined with Hayden Allen for 14 of their 16 points in overtime. Kay also dragged down 15 rebounds as all the Sharks starters hit double figures.
Prewster led the Giants' effort with 22, Curtis Washington scoring 17 and Adnam 13 in an excellent debut. Sam Dempster typically led the Giants' rebounding with 12, including 10 defensive boards.
Southland Sharks 100 (N Kay 24, M Norton 19, L Aston 15, R Te Rangi 12, D Bailey 12) Nelson Giants 94 (D Prewster 22, C Washington 17, K Adnam 13, F Delany 10, A Granger 10) in overtime.
1Q: 27-23; HT: 51-46; 3Q: 69-62; FT: 84-84;
Article and image courtesy of Stuff.co.nz