Report: Leicester Riders 85-56 Bristol Flyers
Monday, May 3rd 2021
Bristol Flyers were unable to upset the league champions Leicester Riders in the first leg of the play-off quarter finals.
Eric Lockett led the Flyers with 16 points, nine rebounds and seven assists.
Flyers brought defensive intensity and physicality to the game early on. Josh Wilcher was effective, connecting from outside the arc and working his way to the foul line. Mo Walker gave Leicester another scoring option around the basket to reclaim the lead. Daniel Edozie brought a boost from the bench with a steal and put back score to end the first quarter 17-16.
The big men traded baskets to open the second. Lockett was relentless attacking the basket and kept the scoreboard ticking over for Bristol. Riders outside shooting gave them a narrow lead. Bristol forced a shot clock violation, but were not able to capitalise with a score. A 6-0 run from Riders forced a timeout from Coach Kapoulas. With Flyers misfiring from outside the arc, Lockett recycled a miss to Justin Baker for a second chance score. Lockett closed the first half with a mid-range bucket to make it 33-30.
Bristol looked to their forwards for scoring to start the second half. Marcus Delpeche made back to back scores and Baker spotted up for a three pointer. A disastrous run saw Riders open up a lead with Flyers unable to suppress the scoring. Leicester guards Geno Crandall and Mustapha Heron hit successive threes to ignite the outburst. Crandall cut through the defence and connected with William Lee on an alley-oop dunk. The third quarter finished with Riders having poured in 32 points to go up 65-45.
Mo Walker gave Leicester more effective minutes from the bench and his scoring kept the deficit growing in the fourth. Lockett kept battling to stem the bleeding and finished through contact to earn a three point play. Crandall punctuated the first leg win with a three pointer to make it 85-56.
Flyers will carry the 29 point deficit into the second leg game at the University of Worcester Arena on Wednesday.