Melbourne Tigers ended a rich chapter in NBL history and wrote a new one for themselves in New Zealand on Friday night.

The Tigers came back from a 14-point deficit at the final change to beat the Breakers 97-84 at Vector Arena, leaving the NZ side with only mathematical play-off hopes and its run of three-straight NBL championships all but over.

A win over Sydney Kings at Hisense Arena on Sunday afternoon should lock the Tigers into their first finals series since 2008-2009.

With the Tigers staring down a fifth-straight loss with 10 minutes remaining, coach Chris Anstey rolled the dice by putting Owen Odigie into the game and putting the onus on Nate Tomlinson and Chris Goulding to win the match.

His charges responded, opening the final quarter with a 24-8 run with all three players on the scoreboard as the Tigers won the term 42-12.

Goulding finished with a game-high 25 points, including the go-ahead basket with 5:38 left in the match.

Corey Webster led the Breakers with 17 points.

The Tigers ran out to the perfect start, leading 10-0 in the early minutes with quick passes catching out the Breakers in transition.

But the Breakers regained their touch getting baskets in the paint and forcing the Tigers into some rushed shots as the visitors led 20-18 at quarter-time.

The Breakers made a good start to the second term with Thomas Abercrombie and Casey Frank scoring regularly and soon took the lead.

As the Tigers offence continued to splutter, the Breakers took a seven-point lead late in the term before late baskets from Tommy Greer and Mark Worthington edged the Tigers back.

A full-court layup for Johnson on the final play of the half left a bad taste in the Tigers' mouths as the Breakers led 46-41 at half-time.

Turnovers and bad decision-making plagued the Tigers in the third term as the Breakers took their lead out to 15 points midway through the term after two dunks form Reuben Te Rangi as Worthington sat out with four fouls.

The Breakers led 67-53 at the final change but eight-straight points from the Tigers at the start of the fourth quarter set up a nail-biting final term.