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Matthew Dellavedova and Chris Goulding fire as Melbourne United strikes late to sink Adelaide 36ers

Melbourne United’s Luke Travers squeezes between 36ers duo Issac Humphries and Trey Kell III in Adelaide on Sunday.

Melbourne United’s Luke Travers squeezes between 36ers duo Issac Humphries and Trey Kell III in Adelaide on Sunday. Photo: Getty

Melbourne United needed a late run to navigate past an improved Adelaide, with Matthew Dellavedova and Chris Goulding arriving with clutch final-quarter shots in the 82-74 win.

The visitors were hot favourites to go 2-0 in the NBL’s opening weekend after defeating South East Melbourne Phoenix on Thursday.

But the 36ers, still licking their wounds after a Friday night loss in Brisbane, showed plenty to overcome an early 13-point margin and led by four in the final term on Sunday.

United then scored 15 straight points, with Dellavedova (19 points, seven rebounds, four assists) and Goulding (19 points) finding their range and Shea Ili getting desperate in the crucial stretch.

Thinking the ball would bounce out, 36ers captain Mitch McCarron guarded it to the line only to see Ili fly by and fling a pass to Dellavedova.

He drilled the three-pointer with United’s third shot of the possession as a game, locked up at three-quarter time, quickly turned the visitor’s way.

Earlier Jason Cadee (18 points, six assists) shook off his game-one rust with timely buckets to first negate a deficit and then put his side ahead.

Cadee shot one-of-nine against the Bullets while centre Kyrin Galloway was scoreless.

The pair were far more involved on Sunday though, Galloway collecting nine rebounds and three blocks with his five points.

But Isaac Humphries and Jacob Wiley were well held after powering the side in their season opener.

Again rebounding hurt Adelaide, United collecting 21 offensive rebounds and giving up just 12.

German centre Ariel Hukporti (10 points on 80 per cent shooting, 10 rebounds, five blocks) was heavily involved at both ends of the floor early in the second half while Luke Travers (12 points, nine rebounds, four assists) backed up his 20-point haul on opening night.

Traditionally a provider, Dellavedova made six of his 18 field goal attempts to continue his new, aggressive approach to the game after a one-season NBA cameo with Sacramento.

It gets no easier for the 36ers, who are yet to announce a replacement for dumped import Jamaal Franklin ahead of a Perth-Sydney road double next weekend.

-AAP
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