United tip-off New Year with comprehensive victory over Kings

LOOKING to bounce back after a tough New Year’s Eve loss, Melbourne United continued to show why they are the team to beat, defeating the Sydney Kings by 16 points at Qudos Bank Arena. The win came following standout performances from Shea Ili, Chris Goulding and Matthew Dellavedova. United shared the load from majority of their starters, as well as contributions off the bench helping the side to a 101-85 victory. 

With the Kings controlling the opening term, United fought back in the second quarter, 20 points to 17, though the Kings maintained a two-point lead at the main break. 

United got the match back on their terms after that, with the likes of IIi and Dellavedova setting the pace on the offensive end, forcing the Kings into uncharacteristic turnovers and rushed shots. United poured on 35 points to 19, mounting a 14-point advantage heading into the final term.

United continued to apply the pressure on the defensive end, sharing the ball around the perimeter well, doing enough to secure the win. The Kings had strong performances from Shaun Bruce, Kouat Noi and Jordan Hunter, but it was their turnovers that let them down.

United finished the game shooting 38 from 75 at 51 per cent, compared to the Kings, 31 from 67 at 46 per cent. United controlled the points from turnovers, 18-5 and bench points, 31-28.

IIi shot five from nine from the field, Goulding shot six from seven from two-point range, whilst Kyle Bowen contributed seven rebounds – six defensive – three assists and one steal, stepping into the shoes of the absent Luke Travers.

For the Kings, Bruce shot six from 10 from the field on his way to 16 points, five assists and one block, whilst Noi had 13 points, five rebounds and one steal. Hunter had an impact in the absence of DJ Hogg, finishing the game with 12 points, nine rebounds, two assists and one steal. 

United look to build from their victory, playing their second game of Round 14 on January 6 against the Adelaide 36ers, whilst the Kings play the Brisbane Bullets.

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