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NBL 2014/15 Round 14: Wilson keys late Sixers rally past United
Adelaide has pulled off a miraculous fourth quarter comeback, reeling in Melbourne to post a crucial 91-89 win at a sold out State Netball and Hockey Centre.
The undisputed star of the show was Jamar Wilson, with the wily point guard netting 16 points in the final term to lead his side back from the brink.
It was his teammate Brock Motum who got things going for the visitors, with the Australia forward starting on fire for 11 points in the first ten minutes.
Melbourne kept pace using a balanced attack and the scores were tied at 26 after the fast-paced opening term.
The home side began to get on top in the second, with a ferocious fast break alley-oop dunk from Stephen Dennis, off a pass from fellow import Jordan McRae, getting the crowd to their feet.
Foul trouble for Daniel Kickert saw Chris Patton get his opportunity off the bench, and the young centre made the most of it, proving more than a handful for the Adelaide bigs as his lethal right-hand hook shot, and an explosive one-hand jam, helped United get out to a 50-42 halftime lead.
After a scoreless second term, Motum got things rolling again in the third, with the 36ers closing to within two possessions late in the piece.
Just as the Sixers got comfortable, however, David Barlow popped up for a pair of three-point bombs to push the lead to double digits once more and the home side looked strong at the final change, holding a 76-64 lead.
Enter Wilson, as the American, who had been well-held for much of the night, completely took over the contest.
An array of killer crossovers and tough finishes dragged his side back into the contest, before a massive three tied the game away with two minutes on the clock.
The 36ers guard continued to hurt Melbourne at the foul line, extending the lead to three points with a minute on the clock.
Melbourne cut it back to one on a pair of Nate Tomlinson free-throws and then won the ball back as Adelaide came up empty, thanks in part to a huge McRae block as Wilson attempted another three-point bomb.
Dennis got all the way to the rim on the ensuing possession but missed the wide open layup, with Wilson making it hurt from the line at the other end once more.
With the margin at three, McRae drove into traffic and the loose ball fell out to Mark Worthington at the three-point line, with the United veteran banking in a contested fade-away to seemingly tie the scores once more as the home crowd suddenly found its voice again.
However, upon review the basket was changed to a two-pointer, forcing the home side to foul once more and Wilson was sent to the line.
This time he could only split the foul shots, leaving United two-points behind with seven seconds still remaining, but a wild McRae three-point attempt at the horn was way off and the 36ers escaped with the miracle win to keep their season alive.
Wilson and Motum each finished with 22 points to lead Adelaide to victory, while Mitch Creek looked back to his best with an explosive 17 points.
McRae (16 points, 7 rebounds) lead five Melbourne players in double figures but Worthington (7 points, 3-9 FG) was well below his best in a telling sign of the defeat.
Adelaide will now host bottom-placed Wollongong next Sunday afternoon as they look to further close the gap on the top four, while Melbourne will face the toughest of NBL tests when they travel to both New Zealand and Perth next Sunday and the following Wednesday, respectively.
Melbourne 89 (McRae 16, Barlow 14, Patton 13)
Adelaide 91 (Motum 22, Wilson 22, Creek 17)