WWAG Match Recap: Round 8 vs Sydney Kings
Melbourne United Media
In front of another sold-out crowd, Luke Travers showed no signs of rust, driving hard to the hoop to draw a foul on United’s opening possession.
The athletic forward was everywhere for Melbourne in the first quarter, collecting five rebounds, dishing out two assists and coming away with one steal.
The recipient of some of this energetic play was Chris Goulding, who cashed in on a trio of three-pointers across his eight minutes of play.
A powerful dunk from Jo Lual-Acuil Jr and a lightning-quick layup from Shea Ili kept United’s score ticking upwards, however it was the play of Development Player Campbell Blogg that lifted Melbourne for much of the term.
The guard came into the contest and found his feet quickly, scoring his first career points on a triple from the wing before getting all the way to the hoop for a layup.
This effort helped propel United into the lead, however a late surge from the Kings gave the visitors a slight 22-21 advantage after 10 minutes.
Wanting to charge forward coming out of the first break, Melbourne stumbled as the Kings pushed their lead out to 17 points.
Despite the struggle, CG43 continued his strong performance, knocking down two more three pointers which pushed him beyond 6,000 career points.
This sharpshooting cut Sydney’s lead down to eight, however a late run saw the Kings go back in front by 15 points at half time.
Looking to put their disappointing second term behind them, United began their run with a silky spin and score from Travers before Lual-Acuil Jr threw down a monster slam after an offensive rebound.
The buckets kept on coming following this; Shea Ili hit a three, Kyle Bowen finished at the hoop, Flynn Cameron muscled his way inside, Travers flew high for a dunk.
The momentum, fuelled by the noise being produced by the John Cain Arena crowd, allowed Melbourne to draw within three points of Sydney after having trailed by 19 earlier in the period.
Late scores by the Kings widened the margin back out to seven points, however it was clear the game was far from over.
United’s fourth quarter started perfectly, as JLA slammed home a monstrous jam.
Travers then continued his strong game, getting to the hoop for a tough bucket before swatting a layup attempt.
Melbourne’s lockdown defensive effort continued as Goulding got all the way to the rim for an and-1 basket after a steal to cut the lead to four.
Back-to-back threes from Goulding and Travers tied the game and from then on, it was all United traffic.
Buoyed by the electricity inside their arena thanks to the capacity crowd, Melbourne ran off a 10-0 run before CG43 cashed in on his eighth three in the game, all but sealing the victory.
United finished with a 105-93 win, positioning them on top of the NBL24 ladder with a 10-2 record.
In what was a historic game for Goulding, he finished with 35 points, his highest ever total with United.