High-flying United make it 11 wins in a row
Eleven. That’s how many games Melbourne United have won on the trot, after defeating the Sydney Kings with ease at John Cain Arena on Sunday.
Star Chris Goulding was the chief protagonist, scoring 21 points — all in the first three quarters — along with four rebounds and a quartet of assists.
Jo Lual-Acuil continued his hot form, scoring 20 points together with nine rebounds, while the dime-dishing Mitch McCarron (eight assists) and Scotty Hopson (18 points) also troubled the Kings.
Casper Ware played his typical starring role for Sydney, shooting a game-high 25 points, while Craig Moller’s 11 rebounds gave United early headaches.
But United outclassed the Kings in the last quarter, pulling away strongly to claim the 103-78 win.
Goulding was hot early, slamming home a pair of triples in the initial stages of the first quarter, while at the other end, Ware soon shone, with a scintillating three of his own from long range.
Casper Ware couldn’t inspire the Kings to victory on this occasion. (Photo by Kelly Defina/Getty Images)Source:Getty Images
McCarron’s subsequent, slick behind-the-back pass set up another United highlight, with Lual-Acuil completing the two-pointer.
Then, it was 37-year-old Kings veteran Daniel Kickert who put the Kings in control of early proceedings, with another three opening up a healthy lead as United were not helped by inaccurate shooting from the field.
But United regained composure in the second quarter, trimming back the deficit through a clever assist from Goulding, who faked a shot to find Hopson deep for two.
Melbourne soon claimed the lead through a Mason Peatling layup, but a pair of missed attempts from David Barlow offered the Kings breathing space late in the half.
Miserly defending put United back on top, though, and the ladder leaders began to hit their straps through an impressive Sam McDaniel layup, which was followed by a stirring long-range three from Goulding.
McDaniel was again in the action in the second half, stealing the ball from Ware in sublime fashion before Hopson made a pair of free-throw attempts.
Lual-Acuil put the Kings on the back foot early in the fourth, making a hook shot for two, a layup after steal, and then a block to set up a rousing Yudai Baba three.
Baba was again in the action with a dunk, and moments later made no mistake from the free throw line, effectively burying the Kings as the floodgates opened.
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