Melo Trimble had big shoes to fill at Melbourne United but he's looking increasingly comfortable after leading the heavyweights to a fourth straight NBL win.
The American point guard lit up Melbourne Arena with a season-high 32 points on 11-of-13 shooting, including 3-of-4 from beyond the arc as United beat Adelaide 36ers 109-90 on Sunday.
Signed to replace premiership-winner Casper Ware in the off-season, 24-year-old Trimble has last season's grand finalists purring again after their slow start to the season.
"I thought Melo played an amazing game," said coach Dean Vickerman after his team's fourth win in eight days.
,"You go 11 for 13, hold (Jerome) Randle to a decent total and defend the way he did today, an outstanding contribution from him."
The Sixers led by 12 in the early stages but all their hard work came undone as the home side unleashed a 37-14 second-quarter onslaught to lead by 15 at halftime.
Adelaide tried valiantly to claw their way back into the match, cutting Melbourne's advantage to seven in the third term, but United steadied to close it out.
Trimble swung the game with 15 points in the pivotal second term while Chris Goulding (20, five three-pointers) and Shawn Long (16) scored crucial baskets in the second half to halt every Sixers rally.
After losing four of their first five games, United now sit at 5-4 and host four of their next six contests at Melbourne Arena, starting with a third derby clash against South East Melbourne Phoenix.
Former league MVP Randle finished with 17 points for Adealaide while Anthony Drmic added 16 as the Sixers suffered a third straight loss, with a home clash against defending champions Perth Wildcats coming up on Friday.
"I thought we came out and played with a little fire and then we lost focus," Adelaide coach Joey Wright said.
"We gave them open shot after open shot, they capitalised on it and we were chasing our tail after that for the rest of the game."
Australian Associated Press