London Lions 110-73 Glasgow Rocks (25-21, 51-37, 83-52)
(Lions – Liggins 30, Williams 24, Parker 15; Rocks – Brandon 16, Jacdonmi 16, Kwedi 12)
Plymouth Raiders 74-65 Bristol Flyers (14-14, 30-35, 51-55)
(Raiders – Hamilton 21, McGill 20, Morsell 11; Flyers – Wilcher 16, Okereafor 13, Lockett 12)
Worcester Wolves 57-75 Leicester Riders (21-13, 34-40, 46-55)
(Wolves – Kimble 12, Burns 11, Parks Jr. 10; Riders – Nelson-Henry 14, Crandall 12, Anderson 8)
All of the BBL Championship’s new top three were in action on Wednesday night, as Leicester Riders took another step towards the title with London Lions and Plymouth Raiders maintaining their pursuit.
Lions were the only movers, up to third in the table after a 110-73 victory over Glasgow Rocks at the Copper Box Arena that saw them jump above Newcastle Eagles in the standings.
It was a fourth straight win for Vince Macaulay’s team, and they shook their visitors off when veteran Andre Lockhart beat the first quarter buzzer with a three-pointer, before they scored the first eight points of the second stanza with another Lockhart trey capping that run at 33-21.
They put the game beyond Rocks in the final two and a half minutes of the second, when they scored the last nine points of the half, and followed that with the first ten of the third period, a 19-0 surge in which DeAndre Liggins scored 12 and Dirk Williams the other seven for a score of 61-37.
Liggins finished with 30 points including 6-13 (46%) triples, with seven assists and four rebounds.
Meanwhile, Plymouth Raiders stayed ahead of Lions in second after going blow-for-blow with Bristol Flyers in a tetchy south-west derby, once again showing their resilience to come back from a second half deficit to win 74-65.
GB international Ashley Hamilton came from the bench to lead all scorers with 21 points, with 11 of those coming in a fourth quarter that Plymouth won 23-10.
They headed into those final ten minutes trailing, until Hamilton hit a three-pointer as part of a 7-0 burst that put them 60-59 in front. The game would be tied again, but Raiders – the league’s best defence – didn’t allow their rivals a field goal in the final five minutes in a 12-3 finish that was ended by an emphatic Hamilton dunk, with Elvisi Dusha and Mike Morsell also hitting decisive three-pointers.
It’s a ninth straight league win for Plymouth, dating back to mid-February.
Finally, ahead of both of those teams, Leicester Riders maintained their advantage at the summit of the table by beating Worcester Wolves 75-57 on the road, avenging a previous defeat at the University of Worcester Arena, one of just four in 25 games so far.
After trading big runs in the first half, the teams were tied until Jamell Anderson scored five points in a row, before the score reached 55-46 on a Conner Washington three-pointer as Riders ended the third period with the last seven points.
The first nine points of the fourth quarter followed, including five for Mustapha Heron, and in all Leicester held their hosts scoreless for seven minutes while that 16-0 push made the score an insurmountable 64-46.
Geno Crandall continued his return from injury with 12 points, six assists, six rebounds and four steals from the bench.