Melbourne United were pushed hard by the Cairns Taipans but remained in control and came away with a nine-point win to maintain their undefeated start to the season.
United have five wins on the board in the new NBL season, though the Taipans gave them a run for their money at Hisense Arena.
Chris Goulding set his team up for victory with 13 points in the first term and finished with 26 for the night – a great way for United’s shooting guard to celebrate his birthday.
Melbourne United 89
Cairns Taipans 80
Melbourne United have had a flying start to the 2015-16 NBL season and will look to keep that going when they take on the Cairns Taipans tonight. Join The Roar for live scores from 7:30pm (AEDT) for what should be a cracking game.
United are on top of the ladder and are coming off a comprehensive thrashing of the Townsville Crocodiles on Wednesday night at Hisense Arena.
A dominant first quarter set up a very impressive 31-point win over the Crocodiles, 93-62. They also were able to rest key players in the final quarter coming into this big clash against the Taipans. Hakim Warrick played under six minutes, Stephen Holt played just 20 and Todd Blanchfield played 25 minutes.
Daniel Kickert and Holt were the top scorers with 22 and 19 respectively.
The Taipans are sitting on 2-2 and currently in fourth on the ladder after a tough loss on Thursday night to the Adelaide 36ers. They simply struggled to match it with them, which could prove to be cause for concern as the season starts to take shape.
Cameron Gliddon has been the Taipans main scorer so far this season averaging 15.0 points per game with forward Stephen Weigh the next best, grabbing 13 points per game.
United have shown they are the team to beat this year with a very impressive start to the season defeating the Townsville Crocodiles twice already, the Illawarra Hawks and the Adelaide 36ers while the Taipans have had wins against the Hawks and the Crocodiles while losing to the Adelaide 36ers and Sydney Kings on the road in a blow out.
Recent matches between the two sides would indicate a very slight advantage to the Taipans, as they have taken out three of the last five. They also won the last meeting by 22 points, however that was against a very different United team to the one we are seeing this season.
Prediction: United are the form side of the NBL and will win this one against a capable Taipans team at home.
United by 8 points.
Join The Roar for live scores of this clash from 7:30pm (AEDT) on Saturday night and don’t forget to leave a comment if you’re following along.