Hawke's Bay are fast becoming the team to beat in the National Basketball League, following a convincing 88-78 win over the Wellington Saints in Taradale.
After a high-scoring first half which ended tied 52-52, the Tab Baldwin-coached Hawks put the clamps on Wellington, holding them scoreless for nearly eight minutes.
The Hawks now have nine wins and two losses while the Saints are seven and three.
The defending champions, the Southland Sharks, beat the Nelson Giants 94-83 in Invercargill after a strong second period where they outscored the visitors 29-10.
The Sharks finally have a positive win-loss ratio but are still out of the top four as the Otago Nuggets currently hold the tiebreak advantage.
The Giants still remain in the top four with seven wins and three losses.
Taranaki have won their third game of the season, and their third from the last four, the Mountain Airs comfortably beating the Super City Rangers 126-90 in New Plymouth.
The Rangers go back to the bottom of the table with one win and seven losses.