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|NBLxNBA 2019: Melbourne United vs LA Clippers|
|Venue: Staples Center, Los Angeles|
|Match time: Fulltime|
|Melbourne United||vs||LA Clippers|
The LA Clippers proved better in the fourth NBLxNBA match-up, defeating Melbourne United by 18 points.
The cross-league game saw Melbourne lead up until midway through the third as Melbourne opened strong 18-24.
The Clippers responded well in the second to close the gap by two points, winning the term 29-27 as Montrezel Harrell and Chris Goulding both presented well for their sides.
In the third, Clippers presented a master class from beyond the arc. They recorded their highest term (40) while also keeping Melbourne to their lowest (20), taking the lead for the first time.
They closed out the fourth comfortably despite some opening pressure from United. In the end, they closed 28-29 with Melbourne securing their best term of the match.
Montrezl Harrell led for the Clippers once more to secure 22 points, six rebounds, four assists and a block.
He was followed close by Lou Williams (16), Jerome Robinson (15) and Derrick Walton (14), as Ivica Zubac came close to a double-double with 10 points and eight rebounds.
For Melbourne, Melo Trimble led scoring with 22 points and six assists, while Shawn Long followed close with 17 points and nine rebounds.
Goulding also pulled strong with 16 points.
Melbourne will proceed onto Thursday where they’ll face the Sacramento Kings in the last game of the NBLxNBA 2019 tour.
Melbourne United 100
LA Clippers 118
The NBLxNBA 2019 tour marches on into Monday with Melbourne United taking on the Los Angeles Clippers at the Staples Center. Join The Roar for all the action, with live scores and a blog of the match starting at 6:30am (AEDT).
The 2018-19 NBL season saw United finish in second place with an 18-10 record and making it to the finals before losing to the Perth Wildcats for the NBL Championship.
All-NBL First Team selection, Casper Ware led all scorers throughout the season with 18.8 points per game and 4.8 average assists.
Chris Goulding (14.2), DJ Kennedy (13), David Barlow (11.8), Mitch McCarron (11.8) and Josh Boone (11) were also among those averaging double figures for the season.
United managed to acquire Melo Trimble in the off-season, who himself averaged 22.5 points and 4.6 assists in 2018-19 for the Cairns Taipans at number two across the league.
In their last NBA showings, United went down to the Philadelphia 76ers (104-84) and the Toronto Raptors (120-82).
Ware managed 19 points, five assists, four steals and three rebounds against the 76ers, and 17 points along with Goulding against the Raptors.
In Saturday’s Championship rematch with Perth, Melbourne fell short by a point (94-93).
Trimble led with 25 points, seven rebounds and five assists, followed by McCarron on 17 and Shawn Long on 15.
Melbourne will welcome former NBA players to their ranks in Quincy Miller and Anthony Brown, who have been signed in the lead up to this contest.
Miller went to the Denver Nuggets at pick 38 in the 2012 NBA Draft, playing 69 games across three seasons which included 52 for the Nuggets in 2013/14.
Brown went at 34 overall by the Los Angeles Lakers in the 2015 draft and managed 29 games in his rookie season.
The Los Angeles Clippers have picked up losses in both of their preseason games, falling by fair margins to the Houston Rockets (96-109) and the Denver Nuggets (91-111).
Kawhi Leonard and Russell Westbrook were both absent in the Houston contest, with Harden dominating the floor with a 37 point performance.
Leonard managed his first scores in the Denver match-up, hitting seven points with six assists from 11 minutes of play.
Centre, Montrezl Harrell, led his side with 15 points and seven rebounds, followed close by Lou Williams on 13.
Harrell will likely cause trouble for United after leading points two weeks in a row, having collected 17 points, six rebounds and three assists against Houston.
With the additions of Kawhi Leonard and Paul George in the off-season, the Clippers’ defensive stocks have been significantly bolstered.
In the 2018/19 season Leonard led Toronto to their first ever NBA Championship and secured the Finals MVP nod in the process.
George was picked in the top-three for both Season MVP and Defensive Player of The Year, losing out to Giannis Antetokounmpo and Rudy Gobert.
With Patrick Beverly, Lou Williams and Montrezl Harrell already sitting in place, United will have their work cut out for them on the offensive end.
Last year they finished with a 48-34 record in eighth spot across the Western Conference before going out against the Warriors at 2-4 in the opening round of play-offs.
Melbourne United have come close before but I don’t see them being able to penetrate offensively.
Clippers by 30 points.
Where: Staples Center, Los Angeles
When: 6:30am (AEDT)
Watch: NBL TV, SBS on Demand