Surrey Heat maintained their perfect record at home this season with an 84-78 victory over the Glasgow Rocks while Leicester Riders improved to a 5-0 record.
Leicester were given a scare on the road at the Durham Wildcats but came away with a 79-74 success. Keith Page top scored for the hosts with a game high 24 points but it was a 21 point haul from Zaire Taylor and 16 each from Drew Sullivan and Pavol Losonsky that helped Leicester remain unbeaten.
In the day’s earlier game, Surrey momentarily moved into second place after holding off a late surge from the visiting Rocks.
Glasgow’s first three scores all came from beyond the arc through the trio of Kieron Achara, Donald Robinson and Gareth Murray but it was the home side who took an early advantage.
Sam Cricelli and Julius Joseph added consecutive baskets and Martelle McLemore made it 16-13 with his first points of the night. That proved to be the last scoring activity in the quarter with Surrey holding a slender advantage after the opening ten minutes.
Albert Margai’s three point play instigated a strong start to the second for the Heat as an 11-2 run helped open up a double digit lead. Robinson ended the Rocks’ two minute drought which began a bright spell for the visitors and they managed to close the gap to six points at 33-27.
McLemore drained a three before Chavis Holmes provided the no look pass for namesake Frank to dunk before scoring in the final few seconds to restore their ten point gap at the interval with the score 43-33.
When play resumed, Surrey opened with a 6-2 burst as the lead peaked at 49-35 with Frank Holmes starting the run with another dunk. Robinson and Murray responded with three pointers but Surrey then enjoyed a 6-1 spell to lead by thirteen.
Glasgow began to claw their way back starting with a 10-2 run to reduce the deficit to five points with Murray again netting from long range. The gap would remain the same heading into the final quarter with Surrey still ahead; leading 63-58.
The visitors completed the turnaround as an 11-2 burst gave them a first lead of the game. Robinson and Wedemire were the architects with seven points and five points respectively during the run. The lead did not last long as Chavis Holmes scored four points in quick succession to put Surrey back in front, giving the home side a lead they would not relinquish.
Robinson took his tally to a game high 27 points with a breakaway dunk to keep Glasgow within touching distance but Julius Joseph and Frank Holmes both scored to make it 81-75 heading into the final minute.
Murray kept Glasgow’s fading hopes alive with another three but Heat’s victory was secured in style when McLemore followed up a free throw from Chavis Holmes with a reverse dunk.
McLemore contributed 19 points in the win with Frank Holmes top scoring for Surrey with 20 points and 9 rebounds and the 6″9 American forward was pleased with the result.
“It was a great game and we played well as a team; working extremely hard on defence which turned into good offence,” said Holmes.
“The crowd is always important and their support gives me motivation which is my energy on the court. Our main aim is to keep winning our home games and go from there.”
Surrey have now won all four games at the Surrey Sports Park and are in third place in the league behind the unbeaten Newcastle and Leicester with Plymouth- who are also unbeaten- in fourth.