The imminent changing of the guard at the Boomers was no distraction for the Brisbane Bullets, who handed coach Andrej Lemanis a valuable home win in an NBL thriller at Nissan Arena.
Star import Lamar Patterson delivered the home side their fifth win from 10 games with a desperate rebound and tip-in in the dying seconds of the 106-104 nailbiter on Friday.
His poise was exactly what Brisbane needed after coughing up a six-point lead to trail by a point inside the final minute.
The Bullets made smart, effective plays when they needed them in a sign there was no uncertainty caused by rampant speculation around Lemanis, who is set to stand down as Australian Boomers coach as soon as Monday to be replaced by Philadelphia 76ers mentor Brett Brown.
"I don't think it's been a distraction for the group at all," Lemanis said.
"We had our own things we were dealing with after the performance against Cairns."
Patterson had a big second half to finish with 27 points while teammates Nathan Sobey (21 points) and EJ Singler (20 points, six assists) were outstanding.
"I really liked our ability to remain poised and calm through the highs and lows of the game," Lemanis said.
"That's something we hadn't been so great at the last couple of weeks."
There were plenty of cautions and technical fouls handed out from the referees in the heated showdown.
Brisbane's Jason Cadee was in the thick of it and was fouled for an elbow to Eric Griffin, while there were some heated words between players after the final buzzer.
Adelaide's Jerome Randle scored 25 points and went close to stealing the game from Brisbane's grasp in a hectic final term.
Anthony Drmic was the driving force behind the 36ers with 25 points, six assists and five rebounds.
"I thought our guys played with a lot of heart," 36ers coach Joey Wright said.
"You play that again 10 times and you win it nine. I thought the guys that were out there on the court played with so much heart and so much passion.
"We've just got to get some of the guys on the bench to help us out."
In a week when his coaching was the solitary talking point, Lemanis showed he could still spring a surprise by handing import Singler his first NBL career start.
The forward set the tone for a bare-knuckled and high-scoring first half by involving himself at both ends for the Bullets.
Australian Associated Press