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Melbourne too good for Adelaide in NBL

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 14/10/2016

Chris Goulding of Melbourne United looks to pass the ball during the round two NBL match between the Adelaide 36ers and Melbourne United. © Daniel Kalisz/Getty Images Chris Goulding of Melbourne United looks to pass the ball during the round two NBL match between the Adelaide 36ers and Melbourne United. Melbourne United survived a late scare and snapped their National Basketball League season duck with a 98-87 victory over the Adelaide 36ers on Friday night.

Piloted by Tai Wesley (18 points) and Todd Blanchfield (17), Melbourne exploded with a dominant 32-17 second term and led by as many as 24 points late in the third quarter in Adelaide.

With skipper Mitch Creek exiting the match with a leg injury sustained in the first quarter and star guard Jerome Randle (20 points) fouling out late, Nathan Sobey provided much-needed spark off the bench for the home side, helping peg the gap back to five points near the death.

But they weren't able to overhaul those final buckets and slipped to a 1-2 record.

United led by one point after a see-sawing opening stanza before blitzing Adelaide in the second, with Blanchfield catching fire from the perimeter and Wesley proving a powerhouse in the paint

After a tough first half - on the back of sustained shooting ails in the opening round - Chris Goulding finally found his range, while Wesley demonstrated a nice outside stroke to go with his inside game, as Melbourne worked out to 80-56 late in the third.

While United fired on all cylinders, Adelaide's offence repeatedly spluttered with poor shot options and consistent turnovers proving costly before Sobey and Ferguson did their best to conjure a last-ditch miracle.

Five points down inside the final 30 seconds, Daniel Johnson fluffed two late chances to steal the unlikeliest of wins and Melbourne iced it from the stripe through Goulding.

MELBOURNE 98 (Wesley 18, Blanchfield 17)

ADELAIDE 87 (Randle 20, Sobey 15)

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