Sydney Kings reach NBL Grand Final

The Sydney Kings have qualified for the 2019-20 NBL grand final after holding on to defeat Melbourne United 88-86 in the series-deciding third game.

With Thursday night's contest all tied up heading in the final quarter, the Kings held their nerve in the final minutes at Sydney's Qudos Bank Arena to reach their first grand final in 12 years.

With United ahead by one with just over two minutes to play, Kevin Lisch drilled a three-pointer and Jae'Sean Tate followed up with a basket to put the Kings up 89-85.

The minor premiers then held firm at the defensive end to earn their chance at a fourth title in franchise history.

The tight finish made for a fitting end to a drama-packed series after United recovered from a shocking collapse in the opening game to smack the Kings by a record margin in game two.

Chris Goulding fired in 19 points in the first half, drilling four triples in the second quarter alone as United built a 50-45 halftime lead.

But the Kings took advantage of United's foul trouble with a 10-0 run near the end of the third term before withstanding United's fourth-quarter challenge.

Tate scored 20 points and Casper Ware added 15 while Xavier Cooks (14 points, nine rebounds) impacted the game at both ends of the floor.

Goulding was held scoreless in the second half but still finished as United's leading scorer with Mitch McCarron tallying 18 points and import duo Melo Trimble and Shawn Long each adding 17.

Sydney now awaits the outcome of tonight's Perth-Cairns semi-final decider to see who they face in the championship round.

The Kings made a promising start with Andrew Bogut dropping eight points to close the opening period ahead 24-22, though wayward shooting from the foul line prevented them from cashing in on their 15-0 edge in free throw attempts.

United battled early foul trouble but their long-range shooting kept them in touch, Trimble drilling three of their six first-quarter triples.

Goulding seized the momentum for his side in the second term, United's captain roasting the Kings from beyond the arc to set up a five-point edge at halftime.

The visitors made a rough start to the second half with Long and Stanton Kidd each racking up their fourth personal fouls in the opening minutes while Ware broke out of his shooting slump with three long bombs as the Kings eventually hit the front.

But McCarron ended a Sydney run of 10 unanswered points with a triple, followed by an emphatic block on Ware, to send the match into the fourth quarter tied at 68-68.