Nick Lewis dug Sheffield Sharks out of a fourth quarter hole as a late surge saw them past Surrey United on Saturday night in the first of a double-header on the road for the Sharks this weekend.
In the lowest scoring game in the BBL Championship this season, Lewis led the way with 21 points, including eight in an unstoppable 13-0 fourth quarter run.
Sharks have now won four league games in a row, and three straight on the road, moving into sixth place in the table; but they failed to score in the first four minutes of this game, only keeping in touch at 9-8 by the end of the first quarter because the hosts also struggled for offence.
But John Barber opened the second stanza with a three-pointer to put the Sharks in the ascendancy, before Lewis scored seven in a row after a pair of steals, making the score 13-21 on his ‘and-one’ play.
For the hosts, only Anthony Downing kept them ticking over against Sheffield’s full-court press, keeping the deficit in single figures at 23-31 at the break.
And that proved important as United carried the momentum into the third quarter, Erick Forson hitting a triple and a dunk to make the score 28-31, before they took the lead back at 41-39 following good work on the offensive glass and fast breaks after forced turnovers.
The Sharks scored just eight points in as many minutes in the third, and then failed to score for the opening six minutes of the fourth, looking buried as United hit the first nine points, leading 52-42 on a pair of Donatas Visockis free-throws.
And that was when Lewis came alight for the second time in the game, firstly hitting a three-pointer and then immediately stealing the ball to dunk home.
He then forced a turnover from which Barber scored, and tied the game at 52 on another triple, scoring eight points in little over a minute.
The surge was complete when Barber added another triple of his own, the run becoming 13-0, and proving to be one that the hosts could not recover from; United falling just short of what would have been their first win against the Sharks since Christmas 2012.
Sharks play the London Lions at the Copper Box on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park on Sunday, their final game of 2014.