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Goulding fires United to vital NBL win

AAP logoAAP 18/11/2016

Chris Goulding has hit eight three-pointers in his return from injury to snap Melbourne's five-match losing streak in the NBL. © Quinn Rooney/Getty Images Chris Goulding has hit eight three-pointers in his return from injury to snap Melbourne's five-match losing streak in the NBL. Melbourne United star Chris Goulding scored 30 points to hold off the Cairns Taipans in a tight 84-79 NBL victory on Friday night.

Held to a season-low 22 points in the first half, Cairns roared back from 14 points down in the third term to lead with two minutes remaining.

But Goulding's eighth three-pointer of the night put the home side ahead for good, Ramone Moore closing the match from the free throw line with 7.5 seconds left.

United had lost five straight matches coinciding with Goulding's absence due to an ankle injury.

With new American import Casper Ware joining Goulding in a new-look backcourt, United appeared headed for a comfortable win before the visitors launched an impressive comeback.

Ware made an immediate impression on the home fans by scoring his first NBL points with a long three-pointer, with Goulding announcing his return soon after with a long bomb of his own.

United ended the quarter ahead 20-12 with Cairns failing to hit from outside or earn a trip to the free throw line.

Tai Wesley scored Melbourne's opening five points of the second quarter to push the lead into double digits as Cairns struggled to find any offensive rhythm, missing all eight three-point attempts for the half.

In stark contrast, Goulding's third triple sent United into the main break up 36-22.

But Cairns scored ten straight points to stay in the match and hit the lead in the closing stages before Melbourne found their poise to close out the match.

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