Melbourne United blitz Taipans in Cairns

Melbourne United continued its rise up the NBL ladder with a comfortable 13-point victory against the Cairns Taipans on Saturday night.

The reigning champs dominated from the perimeter in the first half and then took it to the paint to notch up a 98-85 win at the Cairns Convention Centre.

American import DJ Kennedy had his best game for Melbourne, scoring 17 points, dishing up four assists and pulling down five rebounds.

Casper Ware was in blistering touch early, lighting it up from long range, but he played limited minutes in the third term after conceding three fouls.

When he did return in the final quarter he continued to score at will, ending up with a team-high 32 points.

Cairns never led in the match and trailed by 14 at one stage in the second quarter.

Melbourne went on a 9-0 run to open the game after hitting three from international waters.

Taipans import Melo Trimble went on a hot run in the third term, scoring eight unanswered points to help his side reduce the margin to two points, but Melbourne had all the answers.

Whenever Cairns threatened to take the lead, United found another gear to pull clear.

Boomers star Chris Goulding even spent most of the match on the bench for Melbourne, playing less than five minutes.

He didn't put up a shot and looked less than 100 per cent fit after suffering a knee injury a week ago against the Perth Wildcats.

Plucky guard Mitch McCarron was at his defensive best for United and did a stellar job on Snakes star DJ Newbill, restricting him to 18 points.

The Taipans simply didn't have enough contributors, with Trimble the only player to give Melbourne coach Dean Vickerman headaches.

The American scored 34 points and dished off eight assists in the loss.

The Taipans, usually hard to beat on their home court, have yet to win a game this year at the Cairns Convention Centre.

They are now 1-4 for the season and travel to play the Breakers in New Zealand on Friday before another game against United - this time in Melbourne - on Sunday.

United, with a 4-2 record, will host the red-hot Sydney Kings on Monday night.