Leicester Riders came from behind to maintain their excellent form at the top of the BBL Championship table.
Leicester Riders 97 – 84 Cheshire Phoenix (20-22, 43-49, 70-69)
Leicester Riders showed their BBL Championship credentials once more as they came from behind to beat Cheshire Phoenix 97-84 at Leicester Arena on Saturday night.
It was their first outing since winning the BBL Trophy final, and they have now won 11 straight games in all competitions and the last six against Phoenix over two years.
Leading scorers – Holder 24, Thomson 21, Hampton 13 (Riders); May-Thompson 21, Riley 20, Gettys 19 (Phoenix)
Turning point – Riders trailed throughout the first half, but snatched the lead with a 10-3 run in the third quarter sparked by a statement ‘alley-oop’ from TrayVonn Wright before Andy Thomson put them in front. Riders then opened the fourth with a 10-2 surge, JR Holder and Pierre Hampton hitting three-pointers to make the score 80-71.
Key stat – After uncharacteristically conceding 49 first half points, it was Leicester’s defence that pulled them through as they held their visitors to just 8 points in ten minutes during the game-winning spell over the third quarter break.
Game hero – Andy Thomson came from the bench to hit 21 points in just 20 minutes, including three triples at 75% and the key baskets that put Riders in front, in his final home game before the Commonwealth Games for England.