Corey Johnson put on one of the best three-point shooting displays of all-time, as Leicester Riders edged a thrilling encounter 99-96 at Surrey Scorchers.
Johnson netted a staggering 10 three-point shots to lead all scorers with 32 points as Riders made it three wins in a row. With the fewest defeats in the league, Riders boast arguably the best record in the BBL despite having played the fewest games.
In the opening exchanges it was Jamell Anderson and Namon Wright hitting the threes as Riders led 11-7 after only two minutes. Johnson’s first triple tied the scores at 14-all and then he hit three in a minute to edge Leicester 25-22 in front.
Riders led 29-26 at the end of a high scoring first quarter but couldn’t get away from their hosts in the second. Johnson netted his fifth three-pointer, followed moments later by one from Jesse Chuku as Leicester opened their biggest advantage of the first half at 39-34.
At the interval there was just one point separating the sides, but it was Surrey’s turn to get hot from behind the arc at the start of the third quarter. Skyler White and Lovell Cook netted from long range as the hosts jumped out to a 61-52 advantage. It was short-lived, however, Johnson picking up where he’d left off with two more threes and Josh Ward-Hibbert added another as the gap was quickly down to 64-61.
Early in the fourth quarter Johnson bagged his tenth three-pointer of the game as Riders regained the lead at 75-76 and then Namon Wright and Darien Nelson-Henry combined for a 13-4 spell which had Leicester 89-83 in front.
But the Scorchers came again, Matthew Bryan-Amaning – on his home debut – putting them 94-93 in front with a minute to play. The sides traded scores and with 30 seconds remaining Leicester trailed 95-94. Surrey defended well, but late in the shot clock Wright found an inch of space to knock down a long jump shot. He had one foot on the line, so it was only worth two points, which meant the Riders led 96-97 with seven seconds left. Out of a time-out Scorchers made a complete mess of the inbounds pass, turning the ball over immediately and Jordan Spencer stretched the gap to three from the line with 5.7 seconds left.
Bryan-Amaning heaved up a three on the buzzer to try and force overtime, but it rimmed out and Riders claimed the victory.
The Riders return to the Morningside Arena next Friday as they take on the Newcastle Eagles, CLICK HERE to purchase your tickets!