Melbourne United have produced the biggest second-half comeback in franchise history to defeat the New Zealand Breakers 82-79 and complete back-to-back wins.

Following on from a tight victory over Illawarra to break a four-game losing streak, United came back from 18 points down at Bendigo Basketball Stadium on Thursday night.

New Zealand outscored Melbourne 28-12 in the second quarter to lead by 16 at halftime and appeared to be cruising to victory, ahead 62-44 midway through the third period.

But United piled on 15 consecutive points to get back into the contest then lifted defensively to hold New Zealand to 25 points in the second half and complete a remarkable turnaround to keep alive their semi-final hopes.

“It felt good to win and come from behind, I can guarantee you that much,” guard Chris Goulding said after Melbourne’s offence overcame a rough start to stand up when it counted.

“We keep doing a better job of the process to get those shots and if we can consistently do that, hopefully, it’s a numbers game and we start knocking some wide-open ones down.”

Mitch McCarron and Shea Ili each scored 16 points while Goulding (13) and Landale (12) lifted when Melbourne needed inspiration in the final quarter.

United remain in second spot on the NBL ladder, two wins ahead of rivals South East Melbourne Phoenix ahead of Saturday’s local derby clash.

Injured starters Scott Hopson and Jack White are a chance to return for Melbourne but will need to pass fitness tests.

United needed a pair of Ili three-pointers to draw level 26-26 at the end of the first quarter but New Zealand kept rolling in the second as United’s offence stalled.

The Breakers closed the half with a 54-38 lead thanks to six-of-10 shooting from long range and double-digit scoring from Finn Delany, Colton Iverson and Rasmus Bach.

Down by 18 in the third quarter, McCarron’s attack on the basket kick-started Melbourne’s revival and Goulding capped a 15-0 run with a lay-up to cut New Zealand’s advantage to 62-59.

Jarrad Weeks nailed a triple to relieve the pressure for New Zealand and build a 65-59 lead heading into the final quarter but it was not enough as Yudai Baba produced a series of big plays to help United edge ahead in the final minutes.

Breakers coach Dan Shamir felt the game swung against them when Iverson fouled out early in the fourth quarter as his injury-plagued squad dropped their fourth game in succession.

“We keep on fighting and doing whatever we can, all of us – players, staff and ownership,” Shamir said.

“We are about to have three more players back but right now everybody is important.”

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