Sheffield Sharks’ superb run of form finally came to an end as title-chasing Leicester Riders came from behind to win 80-72 at the EIS.
Mike Tuck was once again the star turn for Sharks, however, not even his influence was enough to deny Leicester, whose victory means that the race for the BBL Championship title will go to the final week of the season.
Sharks racked up seven first-half steals and led by 11 points before the visitors claimed their first lead with 6:32 remaining, closing on a 16-8 run to make it seven wins in a row.
Atiba Lyons’ side were full of confidence, flying out of the blocks and getting out in transition, but Leicester’s high-pressure defence, allied with 50% shooting allowed them to overcome their 16 turnovers and triumph.
Tyler Bernardini hit the go-ahead three-pointer to break the tie at 64 and went on to finish with 21 points. Tuck continued his impressive form with 19 points.
With two games left before the play offs, Tuck says he and his team mates have to quickly regather the form that has seen them win their last eight as they welcome Manchester to the EIS on Friday before travelling to face Cheshire Phoenix on Sunday.
“We didn’t do ourselves any favours in the last two or three minutes but all credit to them, they were on a 10 or 11 game winning streak so it’s tough to take down a team like that. It’s hard to swallow for us,” he said.
“It’s disappointing but it’s one of those ones where you have just got to let it roll off your shoulder. We still have two very important games left in the season before play offs and that’s the focus now heading into next weekend - winning those two games and then start afresh in the play offs and build some momentum before we hit play offs.”