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Melbourne United upset Sydney in NBL

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 11/12/2016 Tim Keeble

Sharp-shooting guards Chris Goulding and Casper Ware fired last-placed Melbourne United to Sunday's 88-81 upset of NBL leaders Sydney at Qudos Bank Arena.

Melbourne led at every change of the round 11 clash, setting up victory with a dominant third quarter performance after being ahead by two at halftime.

Boomers star Goulding poured in 28 points, while Ware tallied 23 points and eight assists.

"A couple of wins or a couple of losses and you can slide like it's snakes and ladders," Goulding said.

"The way this league is - it's crazy."

Kevin Lisch had 24 points for Sydney and Brad Newley added 22.

The Kings remain on top of the table with a 10-7 record.

Melbourne's record stands at 7-8 in the closest season since the NBL's 1979 inception.

Both teams had played less than 48 hours ago - the Kings in Cairns and Melbourne in Perth - and fatigue appeared to be a factor in the opening minutes.

The visitors gradually found their rhythm, building a 20-9 lead before the Kings answered with a 7-0 run to trail 20-16 at quarter-time.

Sydney hit just five of 19 shots in the first period, including one of 10 from three-point range.

The Kings chipped out a 29-24 lead before Goulding found his shooting range and got his side back in the game.

The last three minutes of the quarter featured six lead changes and two ties.

Melbourne took a 41-39 lead into halftime with American import Ware's buzzer-beating layup.

Ware and Goulding took over in the third period, combining for four three-point bombs as Melbourne stretched the margin to 12 with a quarter to play.

They were up by as many as 14 in the final period and have now beaten Sydney in two of three meetings this season.

"I don't think we were flat. We just didn't make shots we normally make," Kings coach Andrew Gaze said.

"We could never really find our rhythm offensively."

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