A sensational performance from Matthew Dellavedova inspired reigning champions Melbourne United to their sixth win of the season.
After a poor start to the season, United have finally started to heat up, claiming their six straight victory, defeating the Illawarra Hawks 88-84.
The Hawks came into the tie after defeating the Sydney Kings 97-89, sitting above United in what was to be a match that would shape the early season look of the table.
It was Illawarra that started the first quarter the strongest, hitting shots inside the paint and beyond the arc. While the Hawks held three to a four-point leads, late United fightbacks often tied things up later in quarters.
However, this is where the Dellavedova dominance over the Hawks started.
Early on in the second quarter, the former NBA champion was allowed consecutive looks beyond the arc, and each opportunity the 31-year-old got, he took. He was the game-changer for United, finishing on 33 points and nine assists.
In the end, Dellavedova finished with seven three-pointers made from 11 attempts to help drive his team to a sixth straight victory.
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Destructive Dellavedova wreaks havoc
Dominating. Destructive. Deadly. Whatever you want to call it, Dellavedova was on career-best form against the Hawks.
He had 19 points by halftime, with five of those beyond the arc, and was only two three ballss away from his all-time career-best of seven three-pointers made in a game.
The Australian continued just how he left off in the first half by knocking down two further three-pointers to make it the most ever three-pointers he has scored in an NBA or NBL match.
Despite not notching up any more threes, the point guard continued to be troublesome for the Hawks defence, dishing out nine dimes to his United teammates as they claimed the win.
United shake off early season rust
It was two defeats early on in the season for the reigning champions, losing to the Sydney Kings and South East Melbourne Phoenix. But after an emphatic 89-47 revenge victory over the Kings, United have been a different team.
They possess some of the best defensive stats in the league, holding each opponent to an average of 72.75 points per game while scoring an average of 83.75 points.
They even held the Kings to 47 points when they faced them on December 16, and once again it was a strong defensive display this evening.
The trio of Jack White, Caleb Agada, and Jo Lual-Acuil also impressed against the Hawks, combining for 38 points, 37 rebounds and three assists.
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