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United pip Hawks in double-OT thriller

Melbourne United have snapped a three-match losing streak in dramatic fashion, outlasting the Illawarra Hawks to claim a 106-100 double-overtime victory.

The Hawks came back from six points down in a chaotic final minute of regulation to send Saturday's clash at WIN Entertainment Centre into overtime, Tyler Harvey levelling the scores at 85-85 on a clutch three-pointer with five seconds left on the clock.

Illawarra scored the opening six points of the first extra period and looked set for victory but former Hawk Xavier Rathan-Mayes pulled United back from the brink with two triples in the final minute to force a second overtime.

Rathan-Mayes then steered United home with six of his game-high 32 points coming in the final five minutes, with Harvey unable to connect on another game-tying triple in the dying moments.

An emotional Rathan-Mayes expressed pride in Melbourne's response after a tough week, with poor performances bringing scrutiny over the makeup of their playing roster.

"(Coach Dean Vickerman) challenged us," Rathan-Mayes said.

"We wanted to come out here and play Melbourne United basketball, and we got to be good on the defensive end.

"I just wanted to come out here and do whatever it took for us to win."

With injured big Jordan Caroline joining Shea Ili and Mason Peatling on the sidelines, Melbourne coach Vickerman handed first career starts to Lachie Barker and David Okwera, with import forward Rayjon Tucker coming off the bench.

Harvey looked dangerous early with a pair of triples as the Hawks led 20-18 after one quarter but it was not all good news, with George King picking up three fouls.

Illawarra inched further ahead in a low-scoring second period but all their hard work almost came undone, with Chris Goulding breaking free for his first basket and Humphries adding a triple to give United a late lead.

The home side closed the half on a high thanks to a key defensive play from Peyton Siva on the final possession that allowed Sam Froling to put the Hawks up 36-35 on the stroke of halftime.

Illawarra held the lead for the majority of the contest but could not extend their advantage beyond six points, allowing the visitors to strike in the final quarter before going on to win a battle of attrition across two periods of overtime.

Froling bounced back from a horror showing in Thursday's loss to Brisbane with 27 points and 15 rebounds, Harvey closed with 21 points and Siva added 14 points and 11 assists in his second appearance for his new club.

The Hawks now fall into a 1-7 hole following a sixth successive defeat and need to bounce back at home against Adelaide on Thursday to get their season up and running.