Leicester Riders moved clear at the top of the table with an 82-71 victory on the road to Manchester Giants.
Zaire Taylor top scored with 23 points for Rob Paternostro’s men as they improve to a 9-1 record on 18 points.
The home side were led by a 19 point haul from David Aliu with Devan Bailey contributing an all-round performance of 13 points, 8 rebounds and 5 assists.
James Jones scored half of his side’s points as they opened up an early 8-4 lead. The visiting Riders took their first lead on the back of eight points prior to consecutive triples from Jones and Stefan Gill.
Jamell Anderson added two points with a dunk in the middle of a 6-0 close for Leicester as they ended the first quarter with a 24-16 advantage. The momentum was carried into the second as they began with the opening eight points whilst managing to keep Manchester score-less for over two and half minutes.
Leicester’s lead peaked at 40-24 but the Giants battled back and finished the half with a 7-2 run to close the gap at the interval with the score 42-31 in favour of the visitors.
When play resumed, Taylor and Bailey exchanged triples before Aliu netted one of his own to reduce the Giants’ arrears to single figures. However, a 9-2 burst restored Leicester’s 16 point lead with two minutes to go in the third.
Manchester then gave themselves hope with a 7-0 close sparked by Gill’s three pointer as they headed into the final quarter, trailing 59-50.
Yorrick Williams’ three made it a double digit differential with seven minutes remaining as Leicester threatened to break away. However, the home side battled on in front of the Sky cameras; compiling a run of nine unanswered points to trail by just three points.
The two teams traded baskets and the gap remained at three points as the match entered the final minute. Taylor held his nerve from the free throw line; making all six attempts before Pavol Losonsky added two more in the final minute to seal the victory.
Earlier, Leicester announced the signing of Anthony Rowe, who had been released by the Plymouth Raiders after a contract dispute. Gavin Love has re-signed Jamaal Williams as Rowe’s replacement ahead of their game with Glasgow tomorrow.
The Riders can stretch their lead at the top tomorrow when they host the Mersey Tigers, who have also bolstered their squad with two new additions.