Melbourne United's season is on shaky ground after the reigning NBL grand finalists were beaten 90-85 by the Cairns Taipans on Monday night.
United led by 13 points early in the match and looked well on the way to registering a dominant win against the struggling Snakes.
But the Taipans, desperate to register their first win at home for the season, would not lie down.
Led by skipper Nate Jawai, who scored 18 points off the bench, the Taipans reduced a 12-point quarter-time deficit to four points at the half before taking a one-point advantage at the final break.
That lead blew out to 10 points in the final stanza and Cairns held on to record a stirring victory.
Melbourne, who scored 31 points in the opening term, would go on to register just another 54 points for the remainder of the match.
United big man Shawn Long was dominant in the paint, scoring 21 points and 18 rebounds, but struggled for support.
Melo Trimble, playing against his former club for the first time, received a chorus of boos from the Cairns crowd each time he touched the ball. He finished with a respectable 21 points.
United stars Chris Goulding (10) and David Barlow (5) were well down on their usual output.
The Snakes were inspired by Jawai and fellow big man Cameron Oliver, who slammed home 17 points and dragged in 11 rebounds.
American imports DJ Newbill (16) and Scott Machado (14) were also rock solid for the Taipans.
Cairns have now defeated both of last year's grand finalists, following last week's win against the Perth Wildcats, and hold a 2-4 record.
The only negative for Cairns was the ejection of pocket rocket Jarrod Kenny, who received an early unsportsmanlike foul before being sent from the court after a technical foul.