United edge Kings in Cup Eve classic

Melbourne United have ended the Sydney Kings' undefeated start to the NBL season with a memorable 107-104 victory on Monday night.

With a packed Melbourne Arena creating a playoff-type atmosphere, United lifted in the closing stages to end Sydney's unbeaten run at six games, earning back-to-back wins in the process.

Casper Ware starred for the Kings with 34 points in his first clash against his former club, including a three-pointer with 40 seconds on the clock to give his side a 102-101 lead.

But after Shawn Long put United back on top, Ware missed a baseline jump shot with David Barlow pulling down a crucial rebound before nailing two free throws for an unsportsmanlike foul.

Up 105-102, Melo Trimble and Barlow each made one shot from the line to close out the dramatic win.

Sydney overcame a slow start to lead by 11 points as their bench outscored Melbourne's reserves 30-8 in the first half.

But the Kings lost their coach Will Weaver after he was sensationally ejected from the game for arguing with the referees following Sydney's final play of the half.

Trimble scored 10 of his team-high 27 points in the third quarter to level the scores, then put United 92-91 ahead with a steal and basket midway through the fourth quarter.

Chris Goulding (22 points) and Long (20 points, 14 rebounds) also helped steer their side to victory.

Reserve guard Shaun Bruce scored 14 for the Kings while another former United player played his part, forward Daniel Kickert adding 13.

In the early exchanges, Andrew Bogut found Ware cutting to the basket for a Kings basket but it was United grabbing a 10-2 lead through Long and Barlow.

Then Sydney's bench came to the party with Bruce knocking down a pair of threes in quick succession before Kickert closed the quarter with five points to hand the visitors a 29-25 edge.

The three-pointers flowed from both teams early in the second stanza, but when Bruce and Kickert combined for eight Kings points in a row, Sydney's lead grew to 11 approaching halftime.

United replied to trail 55-48, but a no-call on the final possession of the half enraged Weaver - the Kings coach disqualified from the second half after remonstrating with the officials.

After the break, Goulding sank the two technical free throws then added another basket as the contest tightened up, United coach Dean Vickerman picking up a technical foul of his own as emotions started to run high.

But the home side kept their cool as Trimble completed a 10-point third quarter with a three-point play to tie the game 76-76 and set up the epic final term.