Surrey Heat inflicted the first defeat of the BBL Championship campaign on the Jelson Homes DMU Leicester Riders thanks to an 81-74 victory at Surrey Sports Park on Sunday afternoon.
After a tight opening to the game, a 10-3 burst from the Heat took the score out to 15-7 midway through the opening quarter, but the Riders finished the quarter strong as they bagged the final six points of the period to trim the deficit back to a single point at 24-23 at the end of the opening stanza.
In the second quarter, a Yorick Williams basket for the visitors gave them a slender lead at 27-28 early on, but the Heat responded with a 7-2 burst to take the score out to 35-30 midway through the period.
A 8-0 tear from the home side allowed the Heat to extend their lead out to 10 points at 44-34 with 2:14 remaining in the half, but the Riders ended the half strongly thanks to a 10-2 finish to the second quarter to trim the deficit to just two points at 46-44 heading into the locker rooms at the half.
In the second half, both sides traded baskets throughout the majority of the third quarter and a Jamell Anderson tied the game up for the Riders at 55-55 with four minutes remaining. The visitors continued the strong end to the period as they scored six of the final eight points to lead 57-61 heading into the final stanza.
In the final period, the Heat started stronger and a Frank Holmes basket sparked a 9-1 burst to take the score out to 75-68 midway through the final quarter. The Riders tried valiantly to get themselves back into the contest, but a Williams three-pointer in the final seconds of the game trimmed the deficit back to five points at 79-74. It was not enough to overturn the deficit however as the Heat held on for the all-important victory.
Frank Holmes led all scorers in the game with 22 points for the Heat, while a combination of Andrew Sullivan and Zaire Taylor led the scoring for the Riders with 20 points a-piece.
Surrey Heat 81 (24,46,57) (F Holmes 22, C Holmes/Joseph 15)
Jelson Homes DMU Leicester Riders 74 (23,44,61) (Sullivan/Taylor 20, Lamble 10)