Hungry Jack's NBL
Patterson Keeps Bullets Alive as United Falter
Lamar Patterson fired up then Nathan Sobey and Jason Cadee followed his lead as the Brisbane Bullets claimed a priceless win over Melbourne United at a sold out Melbourne Arena on Sunday.
The Bullets had their hearts broken on Friday night at home thanks to Scotty Hopson's walk off buzzer-beating three for the New Zealand Breakers.
That saw their finals hopes slipping away at 7-10 coming into a trip to a Melbourne team desperate to rebound from Boxing Day's loss to Cairns on the same floor, but the Bullets responded in style and it was their guns leading the way.
Patterson had 35 points in a brilliant display and when he was closely checked the Bullets (now 8-10) had Sobey (24) find his range and Cadee (21) catch fire as they claimed a 102-96 win over United (10-9) who now face a difficult month of away games through much of January.
Shawn Long was outstanding for Melbourne once again with 25 points, eight rebounds and four steals while new import Stanton Kidd had 15 points and eight rebounds in his second game.
Shooting proved the difference as the Bullets made 16/35 three-point shots compared to just 10/32 from United.
"I was just playing my game and taking the shots that were open," Patterson said.
"I shot the ones that were there early then started feeling pretty good so started taking tougher ones.
"But the whole team today felt like we had a different fight to them. Giving up that one at home [on Friday] meant we had to come in here and get this one."
Melbourne coach Dean Vickerman said his side didn’t make the most of an early lead and had some work to do.
"We could have done better to hold that lead and then they got hot," Vickerman said.
"Cadee was catching that thing above his head and letting it go. They were good. They shot the ball amazingly well. Patterson was incredible. Give them credit.
"We gave them a couple of things against our scheme but they made some tough shots. Our fouling contributed to them continuing to tick the score over."
Long and Will Magnay were both playing fearlessly around the rim to open the game as Long put in another dunk of the season contender when he went over Magnay and threw it down with two hands after an alley-oop pass.
But Long would try another dunk moments later but find Magnay rose higher and blocked him at the rim.
David Barlow’s shooting plus Long’s inside play put Melbourne up 29-27 at quarter-time but the second quarter was all Brisbane as shot with confidence inspired by eight quick points from Cadee early in the term.
Patterson’s step-back three on the half-time buzzer put the Bullets up 55-51 and had Melbourne asking questions about their defensive shortcomings.
Patterson was again on fire to start the third then Sobey and Cadee picked up the same vibe knocking down long balls of their own as the Bullets led by as much as 10 and took an 80-75 lead into the fourth quarter.
Patterson continued to fire in the last term and while Long and Kidd helped inspire a desperate late comeback, their side couldn’t make up their lost ground.
The Bullets play Cairns in Cairns on Friday night while Melbourne faces the Illawarra Hawks in Wollongong this Saturday evening.
NBL ROUND 13
MELBOURNE UNITED 96 (Long 25, Goulding 16, Kidd 15)
BRISBANE BULLETS 102 (Patterson 35, Sobey 24, Cadee 21)