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Report: Bristol Flyers 60-85 Leicester Riders

Bristol Flyers were unable to end Leicester Riders' unbeaten start to the season, as they suffered a 60-85 defeat to the defending league champions at the SGS WISE Arena on Saturday night.

The first quarter opened with Riders getting out in transition for an open layup. Flyers went straight back at the visitor's defence but failed to come up with the score, turning the ball over to give Leicester another fast break. Flyers got on the scoreboard with a Lovell Cook jump-shot early on in the quarter, followed by an open two-pointer from Brandon Boggs. Hameed Ali got in on the act drawing the foul and connecting on both free throws. Despite some early production from the Flyers, Riders built a double digit lead behind ball movement that led to open three-pointers. Leicester came to the game in great rhythm shooting and this only continued as Flyers struggled to stop the red hot visitors. Leicester continued to bomb away from three point land shooting an impressive 50% and solidifying a 12 point lead as the quarter closed 11-23. 

In the second Riders stepped it up defensively and pushed the break, but Flyers worked hard to get back in transition to defend. Bristol's defensive effort paid off as it kept the game close. Riders patiently worked the ball around the perimeter finding the open man for more three-pointers. However, as Flyers' defence reacted and contested the jump-shots, Riders drove to the hoop, resulting in lay-ups or trips to the foul line. Bristol could not close the gap, the home side's lack of ball movement meant that they struggled offensively. Though timely scores from Greg Streete enabled Flyers to keep the game within 11 points. At the half time buzzer the scoreline read 28-39.

Flyers started the second half quickly, going to Leslee Smith for two quick scores inside. Bristol's defence picked up too, forcing Riders to cool off slightly from the field. Leicester were missing shots but unfortunately for the home team, Riders were gobbling up rebounds for second chance opportunities. Flyers battled from behind to try and keep it close, but Riders guards Washington and Clark were causing problems by driving to the hoop and scoring with great regularity. In a fitting end to the third quarter, Riders' Robertson scored two straight open three-pointers and the visitors' lead ballooned to 20 points.

Bristol found themselves in a 20 point deficit starting the final period of the game. They were stretched defensively because of their effort to stop the visitors' potent outside shooting. This gave Leicester a lot of space to work the ball inside for easy points. Riders did not let up as their 60% shooting from the field helped them establish a 25 point lead. On the opposite end the home squad seemed stagnant with players standing around and little ball movement. Bristol endured a stretch with limited success offensively and the game was out of sight towards the final few minutes of the quarter with the scoreline 60-85 at the buzzer.

 

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