Kings' Ware torches ex-NBL flame in United

Casper Ware (R) has blitzed Melbourne United with eight three-pointers in a huge Sydney NBL win.
Casper Ware (R) has blitzed Melbourne United with eight three-pointers in a huge Sydney NBL win.

Sydney's Casper Ware has dropped a season-high eight bombs from distance to all but torch former club Melbourne United's chances of making the NBL finals.

The Kings' star, who left United in the winter, finished with a team-high 26 points and six assists in Sunday's 106-88 blowout.

More importantly for the Kings, the win ensures they remain in pole position to claim the minor premiership with three weeks left until the finals.

A member of United's 2018 championship-winning side, Ware lit up his old teammates with a season-high 35 points in November in their first meeting.

He had 28 points against them in a December win.

This time, despite entering Sunday's clash shooting an ugly 29 per cent from long range, it was from beyond the arc where Ware did his damage.

He finished with an efficient eight-of-15 from distance, which came one game after going one-of-eight against Illawarra.

The hotter Ware became, so did the distance of his attempts.

"I got (Shaun Bruce saying) tell me, 'That was a good shot'. I shot that from halfway - that wasn't a good shot," Ware said.

"But you got guys that believe in you, no matter what.

"I could go one-for-eight and they're going to tell me to keep shooting. The coaches are going to tell me to keep shooting. Sooner or later, it's going to go in."

Jae'Sean Tate added 22 points, while veteran Andrew Bogut contributed with a season-high nine assists and eight points.

The win, however, was soured by a suspected leg injury to Didi Louzada.

Melo Trimble paced United with 26 points, but Boomers guard Chris Goulding shot just four-from-13 for 13 points.

The loss leaves them two wins behind fourth-placed Brisbane.

Ware gave the 10,078 crowd at Qudos Bank Arena plenty to cheer about early when he connected on his opening four looks from distance.

The American had 12 points in the opening period alone, however Trimble wasn't far behind with 10 to keep United within three at the first change.

Ware wasn't the only one who caught fire from distance, with Louzada hitting three-straight bombs bridging the opening two quarters.

There were immediate fears for the No.35 NBA draft pick who limped to the locker room with two minutes remaining in the half and failed to return.

The third quarter proved the most decisive, with the Kings' free-wheeling offence pouring in 39 points and their defence limiting the visitors to 17.

United coach Dean Vickerman said his team dropped their intensity after the Kings made a handful of tough plays to open the second half.

"And that's been the challenge for us recently," he said.

"We take a few punches, they hit us with a good one and then we just weren't able to respond from that point and separate from the things that we wanted."

Australian Associated Press