Left-arm spinner Ashton Agar took 6-30 as Australia crushed New Zealand by 64 runs in the third Twenty20 in Wellington to keep the series alive.
Chasing 209, the hosts managed 144, with Agar returning the best figures by an Australian in T20 internationals and the fifth-best of all time.
Australia's imposing 208-4 was built around captain Aaron Finch's 69 off 44 balls and Glenn Maxwell's 70 off 31.
New Zealand lead the five-match series 2-1.
Australia lost Matthew Wade early, but Finch and Josh Philippe, who made 43 off 27 deliveries, put on 83 before Maxwell launched a brutal assault, which included taking 28 off one Jimmy Neesham over.
New Zealand opener Martin Guptill hit 43 off 28 balls in reply but Devon Conway, with 38, was the only other batsman to make a telling contribution.
Fast bowler Riley Meredith claimed 2-24 on his Australia debut and Agar took three wickets in an over and removed numbers four to nine in the New Zealand order as they lost their last seven wickets for 35 runs.
Best T20 international bowling figures
Deepak Chahar (India) 6-7 v Bangladesh, 2019
Ajantha Mendis (Sri Lanka) 6-8 v Zimbabwe, 2012
Ajantha Mendis (Sri Lanka) 6-16 v Australia, 2011
Yuzvendra Chahal (India) 6-25 v England, 2017
Ashton Agar (Australia) 6-30 v New Zealand, 2021
The final two matches - on Friday and Sunday - will also take place at Sky Stadium.
The third T20 was held behind closed doors because of coronavirus concerns, as will the fourth, but a decision has yet to be made about the final game.
The final three matches of the series are being held as double-headers with the New Zealand women's T20s against England.