United main­tains streak

Trim­ble comes up big in down­town Arena bat­tle

Mercury (Hobart) - - SPORT - DAR­REN SNOWDON (AAP)

MELBOURNE United has main­tained its NBL mo­men­tum with a sixth con­sec­u­tive vic­tory, beat­ing the Bris­bane Bul­lets 108-94.

Third-placed United im­proved their win-loss record to 7-4, but only af­ter be­ing pushed all the way by a de­ter­mined Bul­lets out­fit at Melbourne

Arena yes­ter­day. Melo Trim­ble scored 25 points for the home side, in­clud­ing a clutch three­p­ointer in the fi­nal min­utes to put the re­sult be­yond doubt, while re­serve big man Tohi Smith-Mil­ner added a ca­reer­high 19 points.

Both teams were on tar­get from long range in an even first half but a 20-8 start to the third quar­ter put United in the box seat, with Smith-Mil­ner mak­ing a ma­jor im­pact off the bench. Ja­son Cadee con­nected on five three-point­ers to lead the fifth-placed Bul­lets (5-6) with 18 points while Nathan Sobey added 17.

McCar­ron handed United the ideal start with eight early points but the Bul­lets re­lied on 13 bench points, in­clud­ing a pair of triples from Cam Glid­don, to have the scores locked at 27-27 af­ter the first quar­ter.

Cadee opened the sec­ond pe­riod with a run of six points to hand the Bul­lets their largest lead of the game then added two more three-point­ers as the vis­i­tors looked ready to pounce.

But Trim­ble re­sponded for the home side with a 12-point spurt of his own and, with sup­port from Dil­lon Stith, United grabbed a 49-48 edge at half­time. With Shawn Long strug­gling to make an im­pact un­der the bas­ket, Smith-Mil­ner came up big on of­fence for United as they surged ahead 69-56.

La­mar Pat­ter­son showed signs of life for Bris­bane af­ter miss­ing eight of his nine firsthalf shots but Smith-Mil­ner capped a stel­lar third term with a triple on the buzzer for a 81-72 lead.

Things tight­ened up again as Bris­bane cut the gap to two early in the fi­nal quar­ter but United broke their re­sis­tance as David Bar­low’s three-pointer ex­tended their lead to nine be­fore back-to-back triples from Trim­ble and Gould­ing se­cured the win.

In Ade­laide, im­port Eric Grif­fin gave Ade­laide’s fi­nals hopes a boost af­ter pro­pel­ling the 36ers to a thump­ing 117-100 vic­tory over the New Zealand Break­ers.

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