Josh Boone, Casper Ware lead United to big win over Breakers

Josh Boone and Casper Ware clocked the big numbers but it was fit-again Chris Goulding who iced the cake as Melbourne United overcame the NZ Breakers 108-101 in a colourful NBL spectacle in Invercargill.

The defending champions overcame a seven-point halftime deficit on Friday to hold off the Corey Webster-inspired hosts down the stretch.

It was the first NBL game staged at New Zealand's southern-most city and featured numerous highlights, most notably from visiting American pair Boone and Ware.

Centre Boone mixed 26 points with seven rebounds and four blocks while the speedy Ware contributed 24 points, including back-to-back bombs from well outside the three-point line to put his team in front with less than four minutes remaining.

Fellow-guard Chris Goulding didn't start because of a knee niggle that has caused problems in recent rounds.

He eventually found his rhythm and sunk his third three-pointer with 47 seconds on the clock to virtually secure the outcome.

Second-placed Melbourne held strong in their seventh game in the space of 20 days to improve their record to 7-3 and close the gap on leaders Perth.

The Breakers drop to 4-4, failing to find support for guard Webster, who scored 20 of his 31 points in the first half and produced a career-high eight assists.

Centre Shawn Long bagged 15 points and six rebounds but was largely eclipsed by Boone, who was disappointed the Breakers had been allowed to play the fast-paced style they wanted.

It was another impressive offensive home outing for the Breakers, who have surpassed 100 points in their last three such games.

"Unfortunately it's not the type of game that we want. That's much more their style," Boone said.

"Our game is kind of more grinding out and getting defensive stops. Towards the end of the game we started to do that."

Boone was thrilled to see Boomers sharpshooter Goulding "absolutely back" and warned Sunday's opponents Brisbane to be on their game defensively.

The result was a sweet one for Melbourne assistant coach Paul Henare, who walked out of his Breakers head coaching role under a cloud during the off-season.

Long-serving former Breakers centre Alex Pledger was also pleased to play a small part in the Melbourne win and said he appreciated being in the same team as the likes of Ware and Goulding.

"Playing against those guys for almost 10 years, it is nice to be wearing the same colours as them," he said.

"Corey was hot in that first half. We adjusted our defence and did a pretty good job on him in the second half.

"Any time you walk out of New Zealand with a W, it's a good win."