Melbourne United have defeated Perth 92-74 at home to level their best-of-five NBL grand final series at 1-1.
The match unfolded in a similar fashion to game one of the series, won 81-71 by the Wildcats, in which the home side dominated after half-time.
After a tight opening half on Sunday afternoon at Melbourne Arena that included 12 lead changes, United outscored Perth 26-16 in the third quarter before running away in the final term.
"It was a good response," United coach Dean Vickerman said after his side bounced back from Friday's loss in Perth.
"We did that much better today and only had the 10 turnovers ... even the ones we did turn over, we did a better job of getting back."
Melbourne outpaced the Wildcats on the fast break, scoring 21 points to Perth's four, while enjoying a 32-19 advantage in bench points.
DJ Kennedy was the stand-out performer for Melbourne with 12 points, 14 rebounds and four assists while Casper Ware and Chris Goulding each scored 14 points, with all five starters finishing in double figures.
Perth answered every challenge in the first half but could do little to prevent the defending champions squaring the series, despite the scoring efforts of Bryce Cotton (19) and Terrico White (17).
"Our defence kind of went missing there which is our bread and butter," Perth coach Trevor Gleeson said after his side gave up 50 points in the second half.
"We know that they are an explosive offensive team."
Melbourne came out running in the opening quarter, David Barlow providing an early boost with a pair of three-pointers but a 6-0 burst allowed Perth to reel in Melbourne's lead to level at 20-20.
United appeared to regain the initiative in the second quarter as they jumped out to a five-point lead, but Cotton broke free to connect on three long bombs to keep the Wildcats close.
Cotton finished with 14 points for the half but a Goulding triple ensured Melbourne took a 42-41 lead into the main break before roaring home.
Game three will be played on Friday night in Perth, with United's victory ensuring the series will return to Melbourne next Sunday for game four.
Australian Associated Press