NBL 2014/15 Round 8: United hold off furious Adelaide comeback
In an entertaining match that had a bit of everything, Melbourne United prevailed for their fourth win from their past five matches while the 91-94 loss was the Adelaide 36ers’s fourth straight.
The game saw an awesome offensive display from both sides in the first quarter, several spot fires threaten to erupt into fights in the second, a blackout interrupt proceedings in the third and then the 36ers fall just short after a furious fourth term comeback.
Trailing by 11 at the final change, Adelaide put together an 11-0 run midway through the last quarter. A David Barlow corner three that bounced three times on the rim put an end to the run but the 36ers continued to fight.
The visitors then closed to within 2 in the dying seconds but were forced to foul. At the free throw line, Mark Worthington hit both of his shots before Daniel Kickert made one. That left the door ajar for a Jamar Wilson half-court heave but the attempt never looked likely.
Speaking after the match, Coach Joey Wright said he thinks Adelaide are heading in the right direction.
We have talked about getting to a style of play that we can hold ourselves accountable to and I thought three quarters of the game we did that.
Following their 39 point thrashing of Adelaide in Round 6, Melbourne exploded out of the gate to lead 12-2 after just two minutes of playing time. They hit their first five shots but as impressive as their offence was, it was their swarming defence that led to the easy looks.
The visitors were able to counter through Jamar Wilson and pull the deficit back to three by quarter time. With United going under his screens, Wilson took advantage and finished with 11 for the quarter. Daniel Kickert countered with 12 of his own, displaying his exceptional inside and outside game.
Wright was not afraid to rotate through his roster and the Adelaide bench repaid his faith. BJ Anthony (6 points, 6 rebounds) was a beast in the paint and Mitch Creek (11 points) made his presence known when he almost started a fight with Stephen Dennis.
The two butted heads after Dennis hit a three and taunted Creek but despite only words being exchanged, it did lead to a few more skirmishes around the court as both sides attempted to gain the me