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NBL 2014/15 Round 6: Melbourne deliver killer blow to Sixers
The Melbourne United Basketball Club have capped off a successful week with the demolition of the Adelaide 36ers 118-79 in Adelaide on Saturday night.
Melbourne’s star studded line-up did not disappoint on the road, with Jordan McRae erupting for 28 points on an impressive 10-11FG. The hot shooting continued throughout the roster with big man Daniel Kickert turning up the volume to the tune of 24 points on 9-12FG, while Stephen Dennis filled up the stat sheet with seven points, six rebounds and five assists.
The visitors were unbelievable from outside the arc, shooting a ridiculous 22-34 from international waters; their make or break weapon was certainly in full swing against the hapless Sixers outfit.
For the home side, Brock Motum led the team with 18 points and 14 rebounds, while Adam Gibson was serviceable with 14 points and four assists.
Melbourne controlled the opening period with an excellent defensive display, most of which turned into transition offence allowing easy points to tick over the scoreboard.
The combination of Jordan McRae, Daniel Kickert and Stephen Dennis throughout the opening half delivered United’s twenty plus point lead heading into half time. McRae was lights out from the field, starting a perfect 7-7FG, with his first miss coming just before the main break, just as the Sixers attempted to gain some ascendency back.
Adam Gibson was one of the very few shining lights for the home side in the first half, being one of just three players who found the bottom of the net in the opening quarter (alongside Petrie, Teys). The Sixers managed a whopping 23 free throw attempts to Melbourne’s four, however was unable to capitalise on their dominance, converting on just 12 of those.
Brock Motum found his home debut a struggle early on, finding himself forcing too much inside the paint, despite finding himself at the free throw line multiple times. He did in fact spark a short stint from the Sixers late in the opening half, pegging the margin back to 18 as the two teams entered the change rooms.
Jumping out of the break, Sixers head coach Joey Wright would have had to be scratching his head wondering whether or not his team got the message. Melbourne were able to once again jump out of the blocks with a trio of three pointers, two from David Barlow and the other from McRae.
Highlight plays were aplenty from the visitors, with the import duo providing plenty of glitz for NBL fans across the country. A McRae alley-oop to Stephen Dennis down one end was followed by a nasty McRae rejection with a helpless Jamar Wilson the victim.
Wilson was on a strict time restriction returning from injury, while it wasn’t too much of an issue as both team’s emptied their benches for the majority of the fourth period.
Melbourne United now pose as a big threat for the NBL championship as they polish off a perfect week, after the victory over the Cairns Taipans earlier in the week. Adelaide on the other hand will be hoping star Mitch Creek comes back sooner rather than later as their mid-table push becomes a little bit more challenging.
Adelaide 36ers 79 (Motum 18, Gibson 14, Teys 12)
Melbourne United 118 (McRae 28, Kickert 24, Barlow 17)
@ Adelaide Arena