Melbourne United has completed the double over the Sydney Kings in the National Basketball League.
United made it two wins in five days over the Kings with a confident 105-94 victory at Qantas Credit Union Arena in Sydney on Thursday night.
It has extended United’s winning streak to eight games to start the season, which keeps them four wins clear of the next best side in the standings.
United shot the lights out, dropping 20 three-pointers at 48%.
Shooting guard Chris Goulding was on fire in the second half, finishing with 31 points and eight three-pointers.
Goulding was quick to deflect the praise to his teammate Stephen Holt.
Holt was superb early in the game and went on to score 23 points with five threes.
“Steve set the stage for us in the first half,” Goulding told Fox Sports in the post-game interview.
“He went on a blitz and was hitting some crazy shots.
“We knew they were going to try and shut him down, so it was all about us moving the ball.
“I wasn’t the only one hitting shots, Todd [Blanchfield] hit a few, Brad Hill came in, Kicks [Daniel Kickert] as well, it was a real team effort.”
Blanchfield is the glue that holds the starting five together.
Not as flashy as Holt or Goulding, but he is super effective.
He worked hard both ways to compile a tidy 14 points and six rebounds.
On any other night we would marvel at Blanchfield’s four three-pointers, but his teammates were so locked in that his stats almost pale in comparison.
Kickert once again showed his versatility, scoring 13 points and sneaking under the radar for seven assists.
Recent signing Garrett Jackson provided a boost off the United bench.
He scraps for every loose ball to ensure his side’s momentum is maintained when the starters are getting their rest.
With the Kings creeping their way back into the contest in the fourth quarter, Jackson, who had 14 points and five rebounds, bobbed up for two threes and a three-point play to halt the home side’s charge.
That is the beauty of United’s team at the moment, there is always someone different standing up on a game-to-game basis, which makes it hard work for opposition teams to scout.
United will be gunning for nine straight win on Sunday when they host New Zealand Breakers at Hisense Arena in a 3pm tip off.
Goulding wants to Swan Street venue filled to the brim and rocking.
“We know we’ve got a real tough game coming up on Sunday,” he said. “We’re trying to get a sell out there, so hopefully we can put on a show in front of our home fans.”
Tickets and game information are available through the club’s website at www.melbourneutd.com.au.
Sydney Kings 94 (Thornton 25, Harrington 20, Khazzouh 15) lt Melbourne United 105 (Goulding 31, Holt 23, Blanchfield, Jackson 14).
Star Weekly’s best …
Chris Goulding (United): How do you stop this man from beyond the three-point arc? The tougher the shot, the more likely CG43 is to land it.
Stephen Holt (United): Sparked United in the first half. Worked efficiently as both a scorer with 63% from the field and 100% from the foul line and a facilitator with only one turnover in 33 minutes.
Marcus Thornton (Kings): Announced himself in the NBL with 54 points (25 tonight and 29 in Melbourne on Sunday) in two games against the ladder leaders. Exciting youngster to watch.