Report: Leicester Riders 92-79 Bristol Flyers
Wednesday, May 5th 2021
Bristol Flyers were eliminated from the BBL play-offs by the top seed Leicester Riders.
Ben Mockford had 19 points and four assists to lead the Flyers, but Coach K’s side ultimately fell 177-135 on aggregate.
Flyers found success in the middle early, with Daniel Edozie returning to the starting lineup and getting straight to work in the post. Riders matched their scoring with Geno Crandall finding Darien Nelson-Henry with a no-look pass under the basket. A reverse lay-up from Mockford and trips to the foul line for Delpeche kept Bristol ticking. Mockford had the hot hand, splashing back to back threes to open up an early lead.
Leicester were able to turn defensive stops into transition scores to undo the damage. Mo Walker picked up from his success in the first leg, but Mockford edged Flyers ahead to close the quarter, pump faking his defender into the air and stepping into a smooth jump-shot to make it 21-19.
Flyers got their transition game going, defensive stops fuelling fast break scores for Raphell Thomas-Edwards and Delpeche. Riders battled back with Aaron Falzon tipping in a missed shot to make it a one point game again.
Walker was able to force Edozie to the bench, drawing a pair of shooting fouls. He could not capitalise on the free throws, but Jamell Anderson sunk a three-pointer to put Leicester back in the lead. Coach Kapoulas steadied his team with a timeout.
Wilcher was able to break down the defence with a drive and dish to Delpeche for a hook shot. The big man followed up with a soaring one-handed dunk, but Riders kept it tight with paint scoring of their own. A Flyers turnover and transition dunk from Mustapha Heron put them back in the lead.
Riders edged ahead with Flyers misfiring and Coach Kapoulas took his second timeout. A solid screen found Wilcher room on the perimeter to cut it to 49-41 at the half.
William Lee started the second half with back to back threes to extend the lead to double figures. Mockford answered with a baseline drive, but a floating jumper in the lane triggered an early Bristol timeout.
Bristol buckled down on defence and Rogers reaped the rewards at the other end with back to back threes. Anderson converted his foul shots to finish the third quarter with Riders up 73-65.
Flyers never gave up and were successful in finding stops, including Delpeche drawing a charge. They could not convert the defensive effort into scoring. Baker knocked the lid off the basket with a veteran back down, turn-around move.
Riders were able to match Flyers output down the stretch and Coach Kapoulas gave court time to his academy players Nassim Ladjimi and Thomas Browne as time ran down. Riders were able to dribble out the last few seconds to advance to the playoff semi-finals with a 92-79 win.