Goulding blitz breaks New Zealand
NBL veteran Chris Goulding has led Melbourne United to a 104-101 win over the New Zealand Breakers in Auckland.
Following an evenly-contested first-half at Spark Arena, Melbourne exploded in the third quarter as they took the frame 33-14 to establish an 84-67 lead.
Their offensive output was spearheaded by Goulding, who hit 16 points in the third period andeventually finished with 24.
That third-quarter dominance pushed the Breakers out of the contest as they were unable to attack the basket and had to rely on jump shots that wouldn't fall.
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Outside of Goulding, centre Shawn Long was impressive for Melbourne with 22 points and 8rebounds.
Fellow import Melo Trimble added 16 points as United moved to 4-4.
Goulding was proud of the efforts of Long, a former import for the Breakers.
"We are happy we've got him," he said.
"We are just scratching the surface as well. Of course he scores the ball, he dunks and he rebounds but I think he's progressingreally well as a defender and once he gets to that elite level that he's destined to, he's going to be great for us."
The Breakers have struggled with injuries of late but may have uncovered a diamond in Glen Rice Jr who only arrived in New Zealand on Wednesday.
The American was signed as injury cover for guard Scotty Hopson (knee) and scored a team-high 26 points.
But while Rice was hot on the offensive end, he found himself in foul trouble during the third quarter and briefly had totake a seat as Melbourne took over.
The Breakers managed to cut the deficit in the fourth quarter as guard Corey Webster scored 20 points while captain Tom Abercrombie and RJ Hampton both added 16.
"Credit to the Breakers, they showed a lot of fight, kind of threw caution to the wind and just started attacking us whenwe were a little tired," Goulding said.
Eventually, Rice fouled out with only a few minutes left, as the Breakers fell to 2-5 for the season, while Melbourne celebratedtheir third win on the bounce.