Record-breaking Leicester Riders go a year without losing at home
Leicester Riders set arguably the most impressive of all of the records in the Rob Paternostro era by completing an entire year without losing a home game.
The anniversary of Jelson Homes DMU-backed Riders' last home defeat is still a week away, but this was the last chance of them missing out on the notable milestone.
Even if you only broke it down by season, Leicester's perfect record in 13 home games this campaign would still be their longest-ever streak.
As it stands, their 23 consecutive home wins moved Leicester level with Worthing as holders of the third longest home winning streak in the history of the BBL.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Wednesday, May 22 2013
This was the fourth consecutive home game that Leicester have kept their opponents under 60 points.
To put that into perspective, they have managed it only 24 times in more than 700 home games and six of them have come in the last eight games.
The 84-59 final scoreline may have looked comfortable enough, and while Riders never trailed in the game, they were made to work hard for the victory by a dogged Manchester Giants side.
Early on, Pavol Losonsky and Anthony Rowe looked too much of a handful inside for the visitors.
The Slovak forward netted six consecutive points to take his first quarter tally to 10 as Riders led 24-13.
But Manchester responded with six unanswered early in the second period to cut the Riders' advantage to 26-20.
Leicester's offense was spluttering slightly, not helped by their frustration as they felt they were on the wrong end of a few refereeing decisions, including technical fouls on Andrew Sullivan and Rowe for dissent.
Manchester cut the gap to only five early in the second half, before Sullivan ended a run of eight straight three-point misses with Riders' first triple to make it 40-32.
Offensively, Riders were still not at their very best, but, as ever, their defence was suffocating. Zaire Taylor sparked some life into their attack with two great defensive plays. In the space of 15 seconds, he twice stole the ball and dunked in two points at the other end.
Manchester did respond with a couple of quick three-pointers to cut the gap to 47-42, but that was the exception as Riders' defence continued to dominate.
Leicester held the Giants scoreless for the next three minutes and only gave up six points in eight minutes as they pulled away to a 68-48 lead.
Sullivan, as ever, was immense for the Riders and it is no coincidence that whenever they are struggling to score, he finds a way to keep the scoreboard ticking over.
Of all the records coach Paternostro's teams have set during the last four-and-a-half years, this year of wins seems the most unlikely to ever be beaten.
Riders: Sullivan 25, Losonsky 19, Couisnard 11, Taylor 9, Rowe 8, Anderson 5, Lamble 4, Dawes 2, Angelakos 1, Calvo, Washington.
Giants: Eaves 15, Watts 9, Gill 8, Bernard 7, Aliu 6, J Jones 5, C Jones 4, Griffiths 3, Bailey 2, Purcell, Slater.