The Riders pulled off a dominant 106-89 win against the Bristol Flyers, in a key fixture in the fight for second place.
Led by a monster 28 performance from Zach Jackson, who went 9-12 from the field and 9-9 from the free throw line, the Riders jumped out to an early lead and never looked back. They shot 45% from three and dished 27 assists in a complete team performance.
Four Riders scored over 16 points, and Carrington Love put up nine points and 10 assists, as players contributed up and down the roster. The win sealed the season series between the sides, putting Leicester in the driving seat in their pursuit of the second seed.
VJ King scored 25 for the visitors, but the problems lay on the other end of the floor for Bristol. The Riders shot 60% on their defence, as they gave up their second-highest points tally of the season.
The Riders charged out the gate to a 19-5 lead. Their offence began at an electric pace as they ran in transition for buckets at the rim. On the other end, Carrington Love set the tone with lockdown perimeter defence, then hit his first three of the night to the team’s 19th points.
The Flyers’ offence found its rhythm midway through the quarter to stem the Riders’ run, led by Thomas Bell’s seven points. Jackson’s seven led the Riders through the opening period, which they won 29-17.
An 11-8 start to the second rebuilt the lead to 15, capped off by Patrick Whelan’s fastbreak bucket. Whelan scored five quick points to bring his game tally to 11.
Leicester’s first half was an offensive clinic, as they went into the locker rooms with three starters already hitting double-digit points. The team put up 56 in the first half, leading by 17. Jackson’s six-point quarter brought him to 14 by the half.
Back-to-back trips to the free throw line made the Riders lead 20 as they got the second half underway. Jackson continued his hot first half form, following up the foul shots with a corner three for his 20th points.
Marc Loving too over proceedings midway through the third with back to back threes. His aerial bombardment marked an 18-8 start to the quarter.
An 8-0 run from the visitors pegged the Riders’ lead back to 18, before Jackson’s two finished off the period. The Riders held a commanding lead entering the fourth.
And the hosts continued to charge in the final quarter. They scored five quick points as Jackson drove coast-to-coast, getting a bucket and a foul.
Mackenzie got hot, scoring eight points in six minutes, including a midrange jumper to score the Riders’ 100th points of the evening. He scored 12 in the quarter to see it home in style.
The Riders have a quick turnaround for their next game, heading to the South West on Sunday to take on the Plymouth City Patriots.
The game tips off at 3 pm, streamed live on the BBL Official youtube channel.