Swords trailed for three-quarters of this intriguing clash, but they outscored the Clontarf outfit 28-5 coming down the stretch to win a fascinating game.
Killester played some magnificent basketball in the opening half and, with Ciaran Roe dictating the flow of the game, they went in at the break with a 49-38 lead.
On the restart, Thunder roared back and, with Spanish star Jose Gil Carbon and Isaac Westbrooks finding their form, they reduced the deficit to the minimum entering the fourth quarter.
Credit to Swords they turned the screw when the game hung in the balance, as they kept their title aspirations alive.
After the game, the Swords coach Dave Baker was relieved and praised his side’s composure when Killester were in control.
Baker said: “Killester are a tough side, but luckily we knew what to expect and, in the last quarter when we moved into the fast lane, they failed to stay with us.
“The cup semi-final against Moycullen is now our priority and we will prepare accordingly.”
Leaders Templeogue were also tested for half of their home clash with DCU Saints, before running out impressive 98-75 winners.
Saints led 44-42 at the break after a ding-dong battle, with Martin Provizors posing Templeogue problems at the post.
Gradually, the league leaders began showing their class and, with Mike Bonaparte finishing with a game-high 25 points, they kept their unbeaten record intact.
For Templeogue coach Mark Keenan, consistency in 2017 will be the key, as they bid to win their first Super League title.
“We have been going well and the players are very focused, and with a six point lead in the table we are in a good position for the second half of the campaign,” Keenan said.
Moycullen warmed up for their cup semi-final against Swords Thunder with a hard-earned 87-81 win over Kubs at NUIG.
Credit to Kubs, though, for they battled hard for long periods, but the Galway outfit hit the crucial shots that secured them maximum points.
There was a thrilling game at the UL Arena, where a late Belfast Star rally secured them a 65-64 win against UL Eagles.
The Limerick side looked comfortable at the break, commanding a 15-point lead, but scoring dried up in the second half for the Shannonsiders, as they were confined to a mere 19 points.
Star showed great resilience and, with American Dillon Stith finishing with a game-high 24 points, they hung on to win by the minimum.
The weekend began with Garvey’s Tralee Warriors defeating Cork rivals UCC Demons 81-67.
Demons are having a dreadful season, as this was their fifth defeat of the campaign, with the shooting skills of the Warriors’ Trae Pemberton (25) proving the difference between the teams.