Kings flex title muscles with rival thrashing

The Sydney Kings have shown why they are they are being widely tipped for the NBL title after registering an emphatic 111-101 victory over Melbourne United.

United are considered the most serious threat to the Kings from claiming the crown, having been the only side to beat Will Weaver’s men so far this season.

Melbourne had also won a remarkable 13 of their past 14 clashes.

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Deshon Taylor drives to the basket for the Kings. Picture: AAPSource:AAP

But, led by star Casper Ware’s 27 points and five assists, the Kings not only got their revenge against their arch rivals, but cemented top spot on the ladder.

Kings import Jae’Sean Tate chipped in with 25 points, while veteran Andrew Bogut added nine points, eight rebounds and three blocks.

United star Melo Trimble led his side with a game-high 32 points, but got little help from a side that have now dropped two in succession.

Sydney did most of the damage with a 61-point first-half, the most scored by any team so far this summer, for a 15-point lead at the main break.

Andrew Bogut had nine points and eight rebounds. Picture: AAPSource:Getty Images

But a 31-18 blitz in a testy and physical third quarter proved the hammer blow, with the visitors showing little fight thereafter for the 9512 crowd.

Sydney put Melbourne on the backfoot from the tip-off with an aggression that resulted in 24 free throw attempts in the first quarter alone.

Tate provided the early highlight with a putback dunk, and almost topped it moments later with an audacious pass off the backboard for another.

But where Tate was ominous, Ware was dangerous.

Chris Goulding tries to get a shot away for Melbourne. Picture: AAPSource:AAP

The former MVP led both teams with 17 points at the half, spearheading the Kings to what was also their highest first-half total since re-entering the league.

United tried to up their physicality on the 29-year-old point guard after the break, with Chris Goulding hit with an unsportsmanlike foul for dragging Ware down.

But the former Melbourne guard had all the answers against his ex-teammates, finishing with an efficient 9-14 shooting.

The victory also ensures the Kings, who were without injured trio Kevin Lisch, Craig Moller and new signing Xavier Cooks, remain a perfect 5-0 at home.

Originally published asKings flex title muscles with rival thrashing

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