Melbourne United have come from the clouds to beat Cairns 99-89 in an NBL overtime thriller.
The Taipans led by as much as 17 points and still held a 10-point lead with three minutes to go, but the reigning NBL champions found a way to level up the scores and send it into overtime.
Hard graft: Melbourne’s Chris Goulding takes on the Taipans’ DJ Newbill at the Cairns Convention Centre.Credit:AAP
The shellshocked Taipans had no answers for Melbourne and a fired up Casper Ware, who hit three shots from the perimeter in overtime to break the home side's heart.
From late in the final quarter to the first three minutes of overtime, United went on a 19-0 scoring run.
Grand slam: Josh Boone downs a dunk for Melbourne United.Credit:AAP
The home side came out of the blocks firing on the back of Melo Trimble's hot hand after he hit 18 points in the first quarter.
The Taipans led by 14 at half-time, with big man Nate Jawai finding room to move in the paint to knock down 10 points of his own.
By the time the last quarter came around, the reigning NBL champions threw everything they had to rein in Cairns' lead.
A tech foul against Taipans coach Mike Kelly opened the window and Melbourne slowly pegged back the margin to get within three points with 45 seconds remaining.
Veteran David Barlow hit a three to equalise with 14 seconds left on the clock, sending the game into overtime.
From there, it was one-way traffic, with United running out comfortable winners.
Melbourne has a week to recover before travelling to face the Wildcats in Perth next Sunday.
The Taipans travel to Brisbane on Saturday to take on their Queensland rivals.
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