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Report: Bristol Flyers 73-69 Leicester Riders

Bristol Flyers claimed a crucial comeback win in the BBL Championship over the visiting Leicester Riders.

Levi Bradley led the way with 19 points off the bench, whilst Eric Lockett finished with 16 point and six rebounds.



Raphell Thomas-Edwards got Flyers started splashing a deep three and following up with a strong drive. Riders were able to match the strong start with Jesse Chuku connecting on a pair of three-pointers.

Levi Bradley kept things close for Flyers, connecting on a post move and completing the three point play, followed by a triple in transition. Riders closed out the quarter with a back down from centre Darien Nelson-Henry to score a lay-up to make it 17-22.

Riders started the second period with a 6-0 run, scoring easy layups in the paint. Back-to-back triples from Namon Wright kept the Leicester lead lengthening. Panos Mayindombe ran the wing and spotted up for a transition three from a nice find from Thomas. Thomas-Edwards’ relentless rebounding gave him a put back score and cut it back to single figures. A spot-up three from Eric Lockett was swiftly answered by Corey Johnson to make it 31-40 at half-time. 

Lewis Champion drained a go-ahead three-pointer to open the second half. Champion ran the floor and finished over a foul to net another three-points. Riders were able to get looks inside to restore some of their lead. Bradley subbed in and strung a smooth turnaround jumpshot.

A wayward pass from Riders gave Bristol a baseline out of bounds and sent Coach Kapoulas reaching for his clipboard. The play he drew up gave Bradley excellent position inside for a three-point play. A Chris Taylor steal and sweet round the back pass released Thomas for an easy score. Flyers finished the third quarter in striking distance at 48-54.

A triple from the wing and a great defensive play to force a turnover allowed Taylor to take the momentum for his team early. Bradley capitalised with a strong drive. A floating jumpshot from Lockett gave Flyers their first lead since the start of the game and forced a Leicester timeout. Lockett splashed a spot-up three pointer.

Thomas went coast to coast to draw a shooting foul and calmly converted his free-throws. Riders three-point shooting kept them in the game as clutch time came. Flyers excellent ball movement gifted a cutting Lockett with a three-point play the hard way. Riders defence remained porous with Bradley getting into the lane. An ill advised foul from Jordan Spencer sent Champion to the free-throw line to give Flyers a two-possession lead. A steal and transition score for Champion forced Coach Paternostro to call a timeout. 

A three-pointer from Riders Captain Andrew Thompson cut it to three points, but the Riders Captain could not connect on his next attempt. A huge rebound from Daniel Edozie allowed Flyers to run more time off the clock to edge out the win 73-69.