NBL 2013/14: SF Game 2 - Goulding, Tigers force decider as Ervin loses cool

Credit: The Pick and Roll

Melbourne has recovered from a slow start to level up their NBL semi-final series with Adelaide in a heated clash at Hisense Arena, with the Tigers running out 98-87 victors.

Gary Ervin will be in significant doubt for the decider after appearing to knee Chris Goulding in the groin in the final term.

Goulding, like his Tiger teammates, started off sluggishly before reeling in the 36ers and pulling away from the perimeter in the second half.

Goulding was electric in front of his home crowd, nailing 37 points in a brilliant shooting display, including five-of-nine from deep.

The Sixers burst out of the blocks to take a 30-21 lead at the first break on the back of some enterprising play from Daniel Johnson (15 points, 12 rebounds).

The visitors held that lead throughout the second period before Goulding turned it on late to give Melbourne an unlikely two-point lead at halftime, with the star guard scoring a quick seven points within the final two minutes of the half.

The Tigers extended that lead with a 28-19 third term, with Goulding again seemingly scoring at will and Scott Morrison (18 points, 7 rebounds) proving a handful inside.

Lucas Walker (12 points, 12 rebounds) began to fire from the outside as the home side connected on three straight triples late in the term, with only Adam Gibson (12 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists) keeping his side in it with some sharp shooting of his own.

The final term saw the Sixers come hard on the back of Gibson, Johnson and Anthony Petrie (17 points, 6 rebounds) to get within two possessions, before a brain fade from Ervin handed all the momentum back to the home side.

Walker made a three from the corner to extend the lead to eight for the Tigers, with Ervin then appearing to raise his knee and connect with Goulding’s groin area as the ball was being inbounded.

Goulding made both at the line and effectively sewed up a match with another three-point bomb 20 seconds later as the margin quickly became 14 with three minutes on the clock.

With Ervin likely to be looked at by the league ahead of game three, the Tigers will head back to Adelaide full of confidence in the hope of causing an upset.

The decider will be held at Adelaide Arena on Tuesday night.

Melbourne Tigers 98 (Goulding 37, Morrison 18, Worthington 13) Adelaide 36ers 87 (Petrie 17, Teys 17, Johnson 15) Attendance: 4,044 @ Hisense Arena