75 Casp of glory

Sunday Herald Sun - - Basketball - JOR­DAN GERRANS AND MICHAEL RAN­DALL

MEL­BOURNE United has tuned up for An­drew Bogut’s homecoming by rest­ing key play­ers and rid­ing a re­mark­able shoot­ing per­for­mance by guard Casper Ware to a 98-85 road win over Cairns Taipans.

United will host the Mel­bourne-born for­mer NBA star’s Syd­ney Kings tomorrow in what some are call­ing the big­gest reg­u­lar-sea­son game in NBL his­tory.

Ware’s shoot­ing was like some­thing out of NBA2K, the point guard land­ing eight of his 12 three-point at­tempts on his way to 32 points — his 16 in the last quar­ter, the most in United fran­chise his­tory.

While the Amer­i­can ig­nited Mel­bourne’s of­fence, coach Dean Vick­er­man was able to try var­i­ous line-ups, as role play­ers like Pete Hoo­ley (20 min­utes) filled the void.

Fi­nals MVP Chris Gould­ing, who passed a fit­ness test be­fore the game af­ter suf­fer­ing a knee in­jury against Perth Wild­cats last week, played less than five min­utes.

Ware, who was lead­ing the league in min­utes with 40.6 per game, ran into foul trou­ble in the first half and scored his points in just 26 min­utes. He is set for tomorrow’s bout with Syd­ney’s Jerome Ran­dle.

“It’s a dif­fer­ent night, some­body else might go for 30 or some­thing you know?” he said of his meet­ing with Ran­dle.

“I’m just go­ing to be ready and try lock in.

“We talked about it ear­lier. We weren’t good at com­ing back af­ter a win … so we just got to build on this.”

David Bar­low, who scored a United ca­reer-high 18 points, said it would be busi­ness as usual be­fore the block­buster.

“All of a sud­den, now our at­ten­tion turns to Syd­ney — do what­ever we can to re­cover, scout, shootaround — stan­dard pro­ce­dure, do our best on Mon­day,” Bar­low said.

United opened the game on a 9-0 run — drilling a trio of three-point­ers in­side 90 sec­onds — and didn’t look back.

Cairns im­port Melo Trim­ble played a lone hand, scor­ing 34 points.

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