Leicester Riders recorded a dominant win on the road, beating the Surrey Scorchers 104-84.
The British Basketball League’s leading scorer Teddy Allen came up with another 20-point game, logging 6 rebounds and 3 assists while leading the game’s scoring.
He was backed by his captain Kimbal Mackenzie, who put up 15 points, 6 assists and 4 rebounds in the wake of his nomination for January’s Player of the Month.
Surrey shoots the most three-point shots in the League, but the Riders hit at a 51% rate from deep in the game to win the battle from behind the arc. In a team display, every Rider scored at least two baskets, and five scored in double digits.
The win sees the Riders get back to a .500 record at 11-11 as they look to climb the Championship standings in the back half of the year.
The Scorchers made three triples to start the game to take an early lead. Two-time League MVP Justin Robinson took the lid off the basket with back-to-back triples, followed by Padiet Wang who made it 11-9.
Wang made the highlight of the first quarter, cutting back the door before taking off to throw down Robinson’s lob pass emphatically.
The Riders came back to take the lead by the media timeout, Allen faded away for a tough bucket to make it 16-13.
With a minute to go in the first, both sides flexed their shot-blocking ability. Wang kickstarted a block party by spiking Blake Bowman’s layup before Sam Idowu returned the favour next time up the floor by pinning Elliot Bailey’s shot.
Bailey hit back and finished a succession of blocks with a denial on TJ Lall. But it was the Riders who carried a narrow advantage after a quarter, as Washington hit a corner three to put them up 30-25.
Leicester blew the game open to start the third with back-to-back threes from Idowu.
Surrey’s GB guard Andrew Lawrence then picked up two quick technical fouls as tensions ran high midway through the second. Leicester took advantage, and Idowu’s finish inside put Leicester up 18.
Scorchers Head Coach Lloyd Gardner was the next to pick up a technical, putting Mackenzie to the line for his 9th point of the matchup.
Miryne Thomas exploded to close the half, draining a contested three with a minute left, and ending the quarter with a monster putback off Allen’s missed layup. They entered the locker rooms up 62-40.
It was the Riders’ first 60-point half of the season, as their offence clicked into gear upon its return to Championship action.
Leicester extended their lead in the second half, playing physical ball on both ends and running the break consistently. Jaren Holmes attacked relentlessly, bringing his game tally to 10 with 6:06 left in the period and making the score 72-45.
The Riders threatened to make the lead 30 throughout the third quarter, but Surrey kept plugging away to keep their side of the scoreboard ticking over. Wang led the game with 15 points with three minutes left, running the pick-and-roll with Saiquan Jamison effectively.
Allen and Conner Washington combined for triples to quash any Scorchers momentum, finding open looks against Surrey’s aggressive defensive approach. Their threes made it 87-61 with one to play.
Lall got the fourth underway for Leicester with his second three of the game. But the Scorchers came flying out in the fourth to cut the Riders’ lead back to 20, finding joy in attacking the hoop.
The Riders hit back with a 6-0 run, capped off by a second chance make from Holmes, to take any life left from Surrey’s comeback hopes.
Leicester returns to action next Friday, hosting the Plymouth City Patriots at the Morningside Arena, Leicester.