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Creek's Phoenix blow past Hawks in NBL

South East Melbourne Phoenix have breathed life into their NBL semi-final prospects with a 112-102 victory over the Illawarra Hawks.

Having lost seven of their last nine games, the Phoenix rode their high-powered attack to a much-needed win on Saturday at Melbourne Arena to remain in the thick of the play-off hunt.

Scores were tied at 58-58 after a high-scoring opening half but the home side opened the third quarter with 11 unanswered points then outscored Illawarra 33-23 to take control of the game.

Sharpshooter John Roberson hit six three-pointers to lead all scorers with 28 points haul while Mitch Creek scored 18 of his 25 points in the pivotal third quarter.

Tai Wesley played his best game since returning from a long injury lay-off to compile 25 points, seven rebounds and five assists while reserve guard Kyle Adnam added 15 points.

Coach Simon Mitchell was frustrated with a number of defensive lapses from his squad but was pleased with their roaring start to the second half.

"They got a little bake there at halftime and they came out with a little fire at both ends of the floor which is great, but we've got to find a way to tap into that consistently rather than sporadically," Mitchell said.

The Phoenix join Cairns and Adelaide with an 8-9 win-loss record with a crucial away clash with the fourth-placed Taipans coming up on New Year's Eve.

Hawks captain Todd Blanchfield led the way for his side with 22 points while Sunday Dech finished with 20.

"I think we were just a victim of running into a very good basketball team tonight," Illawarra coach Matt Flinn said after his side conceded a season-high 112 points.

"I'll tell you, if they can string a few together they are going to be a dangerous team."

The Phoenix jumped out to an early seven-point lead with Roberson and Ben Madgen driving the offence but the Hawks fought back to trail 29-27 despite missing five free throws in the quarter.

The points kept flowing in the second period with Wesley hitting two three-pointers on his way to an 11-point quarter while Creek extended the Phoenix's lead to eight from beyond the arc.

But Illawarra responded again with import Darington Hobson showing off his outside shooting touch while Dech and Emmett Naar combined to score the final six points of the half.

The home side made their move after the main break as Creek opened the action with eight straight points and Roberson nailed a triple for the 11-0 start to leave the Hawks reeling.

Roberson added two more 3-pointers as they lead blew out to 15 points while Creek held off another surge from the visitors to maintain a 91-81 advantage heading into the final quarter.

The Hawks scored the first two baskets of the fourth term to trail by five but Wesley killed off any hopes of a comeback victory as he teamed up with Adnam to put the result beyond doubt.