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Lisch firing as Kings continue NBL march

AAP logoAAP 13/11/2016 Michael Ramsey

Reigning MVP Kevin Lisch is back to his best.

And it couldn't have come at a worse time for Melbourne United, whose 87-71 loss to the Sydney Kings at Hisense Arena on Saturday was their fifth straight NBL defeat.

Lisch's season-high 30 points underscored the stark contrast in fortunes between two sides who were each highly fancied heading into their respective campaigns.

Sydney (7-3) have had eight games where a player has scored at least 20 points, while Melbourne (3-7) have had just two.

Melbourne's two best scorers - Rio Olympian guard Chris Goulding and three-point specialist Todd Blanchfield - are injured, while star import and former MVP Cedric Jackson was unceremoniously dumped on Thursday after failing to fire in his new team.

Coach Dean Demopoulos says Melbourne are searching for a more productive scorer to replace Jackson, with Goulding (ankle) close to a return and Blanchfield (groin) still several weeks away.

Jackson's replacement is expected to arrive before Melbourne host Cairns on Friday and Demopoulos admits the side desperately needs reinforcements.

"We hope, looking forward, that we have our roster pretty much set by our next game," he said on Saturday.

"Our guards played to the point of exhaustion ... to the point where they were cramping up.

"I'm a process-oriented coach. Obviously, we are in a result business. So I understand the results have to be different but at the same time, the process wasn't flawed all week long, all year long really. We trust it and we are going to continue with it."

Elsewhere, the NBL's leading scorer Jerome Randle was held to a season-low 11 points as Illawarra claimed an 85-74 comeback win over the Adelaide 36ers.

Cairns ended the New Zealand Breakers' three-match winning streak with a gritty 86-79 win in Auckland, while the Brisbane Bulllets defeated Sydney on Thursday in a game marred by a heated mid-court scuffle.

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