Jay Marriott’s side overcame the loss of Jordan Clarke and Brent Benson to see off the team immediately above them in the BBL Championship table.
However, 11th-placed Raiders had to dig deep to get the all-important victory.
With just over three minutes to go, Durham were 80-77 up, but Raiders, inspired by Josh Wilcher and Emile Hopkins, turned on the style in the dying moments to seal the win.
Plymouth had led 28-27 at the end of the first quarter, 44-40 at half-time and 71-69 going into the forth before the Wildcats got their noises in front.
Raiders will now be hoping they can build on the victory when they travel to Leicester Riders on Saturday and then play Durham again on Sunday away.
Pierre Hampton top scored for Raiders on Thursday with 29 points, ahead of Ben Mockford with 21.
Wilcher claimed nine assists in his side’s first victory since mid-February.