United barrage ends 36ers' NBL hopes

A three-point shooting barrage has propelled Melbourne United back into the NBL top six with a 94-87 victory over the Adelaide 36ers.

Chris Goulding (28 points, five three-pointers), Rayjon Tucker (25, four) and Xavier Rathan-Mayes (20, six) fired United to their fifth successive win and silenced the record Adelaide Entertainment Centre crowd of 9505 on Saturday night.

Import Robert Franks (24 points, 10 rebounds) led the charge for the 36ers who, without Ian Clark (leg), could not contain the perimeter assault as they fell to their fifth straight defeat, their finals dreams now dashed.

"We've been able to put together some solid wins on the road against good teams in January," Melbourne coach Dean Vickerman said.

"Great start from us - CG (Goulding) got us going right off the first possession.

"The shot-making in the second half was quite incredible."

The only sore point for United was luckless point guard Shea Ili going down early in the second half with his third bout of concussion for the season.

Goulding scored Melbourne's first 10 points in barely two minutes of play, catapulting United to a 28-21 quartertime cushion.

Swingman Antonius Cleveland opened Adelaide's account with a stunning coast-to-coast dunk over big Marcus Lee but he was forced to sit for extended stretches after finding enormous foul trouble.

The Sixers' season-long defensive woes were again being laid bare early but they lifted at the defensive end in the second term, behind the efforts of noted stopper Sunday Dech.

After falling behind by 10 points, Adelaide outscored Melbourne 13-2 across the last five minutes of the second quarter to pinch a one-point halftime lead.

United responded with a devastating third-quarter perimeter assault.

With Goulding, Tucker and Rathan-Mayes - who was scoreless at halftime - combining for 9-of-12 from downtown for the term, Melbourne moved ahead 70-64 with one quarter to play.

Rathan-Mayes inspired an 11-0 run after the 36ers levelled the scores midway through the fourth before United held off an Adelaide 11-2 tear down the stretch as Cleveland fouled out and Tucker made some key plays.

"Clearly our defence hasn't been good enough to help us get a few more wins," 36ers coach CJ Bruton said.

"Tonight it was the three-point line that kicked our butt."