NBL's unbeaten United shoot down Bullets

Laine Clark
·2-min read

Title favourites Melbourne United have overcome injuries and a blackout to extend their unbeaten NBL season start with a 109-96 victory over Brisbane Bullets on Friday night.

Boomers star Chris Goulding iced United's fourth straight win by staging a three-point shooting clinic, nailing 7-11 from outside the arc to finish with 27 points - including 24 in the second half.

It seemed nothing could distract a United outfit who have boldly claimed they can win the 2021 title undefeated.

Kiwi international Shea Ili went down with an ankle injury in the first term while fellow bench weapon Jo Lual-Acuil suffered a suspected cork in the third.

Then there was a brief power outage late in the third term just as both teams were blazing away from three-point range, giving a whole new meaning to "shooting the lights out".

Yet United remained focused to snap bogey side Brisbane's two-game winning run and move to a 4-0 record for only the second time in the franchise's seven-season history. Their best start is 9-0 in 2016.

United's starting five all made double figures with Boomers big man Jock Landale finishing with 20 points, 12 rebounds and five assists.

Melbourne import and ex-New Zealand Breaker Scotty Hopson bounced back with 16 points, stepping up in Ili's absence after registering no points for the first time in his NBL career with 0-8 shooting last round.

United registered just their second win in eight games against the Bullets in Brisbane.

After passing arguably their greatest test to date, Landale doubled down on his claim they could go through the season without a loss..

"I've got all the confidence in our guys. If you go into the game with the mindset that you are going to win, 70 per cent of the battle is done," he said.

"It is a mindset that we shouldn't get beaten and there are no nights off."

Brisbane fell to a 2-3 record despite livewire guard Nathan Sobey nailing 27 points (5-11 three point shooting) and double-teamed import Vic Law collecting 20 points and seven rebounds.

"There are a lot of positives we can take out of that game. I think that is the most anyone scored against them this season," Bullets coach Andrej Lemanis said.

Brisbane led 31-26 at the first break and 52-51 at halftime before Goulding found his range, snatching a 75-74 buffer for the visitors at the final interval.