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Sixers trounce United in NBL in Adelaide

AAP logoAAP 12/01/2017 Steve Barrett

The 36ers have overcame a sluggish start to belt Melbourne United 100-73 at Adelaide's Titanium Security Arena.

Down 24-17 at quarter-time and with the game still in the balance at the final change, the Sixers exploded with an explosive 35-14 fourth-term flourish on Thursday night to further consolidate top spot.

Adelaide exacted swift redemption on Melbourne after their 31-point New Year's Day hammering at The Cage.

Nathan Sobey (32 points, six boards, eight assists) was magnificent, while Jerome Randle overcame a horrid start to finish with 19 points and eight assists, comfortably eclipsing Casper Ware (12 points) in the highly anticipated marquee match-up between the league's two top scorers and premier point guards.

With Chris Goulding (ankle) and Todd Blanchfield (concussion) absent, United faded badly. Ex-Sixer Kyle Adnam and David Barlow, with 14 points apiece, were the best for the visitors.

Ware ignored the incessant jeers of the parochial home crowd to score 10 first-half points, while Randle was forced to wait until 2:50 remaining in the third quarter before finally breaking his duck.

With Randle floundering initially, Sobey single-handedly piloted the 36ers' charge with 18 first-half points, giving the home side the momentum and the lead before Adnam buried six straight free throws to steer Melbourne back out by a point at halftime.

But when Randle belatedly fired, so did Adelaide.

His 15 fourth-quarter points were in stark contrast to Ware, held scoreless in the final term and ending the game with his left ankle in an ice bucket, as the Sixers enjoyed a final-quarter junket against the shellshocked visitors.

Adelaide coach Joey Wright credited his side's defensive work for enabling them to spectacularly overcame a flat opening term.

"It was really our defence that got us going - got us a few lay-ups and deflections," Wright said.

"We started slow because we weren't executing our offence and took too many quick shots.

"But we settled in and found a way to get a decisive win.

Melbourne coach Dean Demopoulos praised his team's fight but acknowledged the 36ers were the superior outfit.

"The score indicated that it was pretty even for the most part but the end result wasn't and that's all that matters.

"We never laid down - we turned the ball over. We did everything hard ... they were the better team."

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