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Report: Bristol Flyers 86-78 Cheshire Phoenix

Bristol Flyers kept their BBL play-off hopes alive, and claimed the all important head-to-head result against Cheshire Phoenix with a 86-78 home win on Friday night.

 

Tyrone Lee opened the scoring inside on a converted three-point-play, before Cardell McFarland went straight back at the defence on a driving score. The visitors answered the call, pounding the ball into the post for high percentage shots, allowing sufficient spacing for multiple three-pointers from Cheshire's sharpshooter, Akeem Ellis. Despite a positive start for the home team, Bristol found themselves leading by just three points as the first quarter closed 26-23.

In the early goings of the second quarter, Ellis continued to score. His previous barrage from the three point line, opened up opportunities for closer jumpshots. Though this was matched by a Daniel Edozie converted and-1, followed by a heavily contested three-pointer from McFarland. Bristol's offence continued to impress, their shots were not a result of one-on-one isolation ball, but off the ball screens and quick ball movement. Flyers had 13 assists alone in the first half, six of which belonged to McFarland . The game stayed close, with the scoreboard reading 41-43 entering into half time. 

With each squad going on small runs early in the third quarter, it looked like the visitors were getting the upper hand, leading by six mid way through the third. As the fourth beckoned, Flyers turned up the intensity. Cardell McFarland stripping the ball, forcing a backcourt violation, on another possession Lee dived on the lose ball, before tipping it out to Greg Streete for an open lay-up on the break. 

Bristol's defence was on point, and the offence followed suit, as the ball movement was sharp, the ball skipping to the open man for open looks. Flyers' late third quarter run had given them a eight point lead heading into the fourth quarter, 64-56.

Cheshire's opened the fourth looking to free up their three point shooters, with solid off ball screens. Bristol worked hard, going over the screens and denying the open looks. Flyers capitalised on the visitor's game plan, deflecting passes, diving on the floor and pushing the break for lay ups, highlighted by a Lee slam dunk. Cheshire continued to go for the three-pointers and Bristol had success in running them off their shots. Another 24 second violation which lead to another fast-break score for a commanding 81-68 lead.  As Phoenix deployed a full court press in the final minute, fittingly it was Captain Greg Streete  with a three-pointer to secure the 86-78 win.

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