Having lost three straight matches coming into the contest, the three-time defending NBL champions reacted swiftly this week signing two-time champion Wilkinson to replace underperforming import Darnell Lazare, which also meant Jeremiah Trueman had to be cut.
Wilkinson was cleared in time to take on the 36ers at the North Shore Events Centre, and he had seven points in 23 minutes of court time, but in the end the Sixers did enough to hold on for the three-point win.
The result means that the Breakers have now lost four straight games this season to be sitting on a 1-4 record after beating Wollongong at home in Round 1. New Zealand lost just four games all of last season and has won the last three NBL championships.
Adelaide, on the other hand, is coming off claiming the last two wooden spoons and has not played finals for four years, but had a strong squad coming into this season and has now started the campaign well.
The Sixers lost their opening game to Perth without captain Adam Gibson and import Jarrid Frye, but since has beaten Wollongong, Cairns and New Zealand with a loss to Melbourne thrown in there in between last Sunday.
The 36ers completely dominated the opening to the contest in Auckland racing out to a 15-2 advantage. That soon became 27-11 before the Breakers slowly clawed their way back.
However, Adelaide still led 51-37 at half-time after a second quarter that saw things erupt with New Zealand's experienced hard man Mika Vukona and former Breaker and new 36er BJ Anthony both ejected.
Vukona committed a hard foul on Anthony with just under two minutes to go in the first half and Anthony didn’t appreciate it, and the two had a bit of a push and shove, and the referees reacted by ejecting both men.
The Breakers finally got going after half-time and led by Reuben TeRangi, who was having the best night of his NBL career, and even managed to hit the front with just under three minutes remaining.
An Anthony Petrie three for Adelaide soon changed that and from there the 36ers got the job done to win by three points in their first win in New Zealand since November 6, 2008.
Former league MVP Gary Ervin had his best game this season as a Sixer with 22 points, six assists and four rebounds.
Fellow import Frye also had 18 points and five boards for the 36ers while shooting an impressive 9-of-12 from the field.
Captain Gibson and veteran Petrie both scored 15 points each for Adelaide with big man Daniel Johnson adding 13 points.
TeRangi had a breakout game for New Zealand finishing with 22 points while centre Alex Pledger had 16 points and seven rebounds.
Point guard Kerron Johnson added 17 points, eight assists and seven rebounds in a strong all-round performance with Corey Webster also scoring 14 points and Tom Abercrombie nine.
Round 4 of the NBL now continues on Friday with two games seeing the Townsville Crocs take on the Sydney Kings and the Perth Wildcats host the Wollongong Hawks.
The Cairns Taipans then battles the Melbourne Tigers in Cairns on Saturday night before on Sunday, Adelaide hosts the Kings and Wollongong takes on New Zealand.