Basketball: Bullets grateful to Lloyd

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The Independent Online
BIRMINGHAM BULLETS, last season's play-off champions, took a firmer grip on fourth place in the Budweiser League by cruising past lacklustre Leicester City Riders 78-65 last night to boost their chances of home advantage in the quarter-finals.

Nigel Lloyd gave an immaculate display for the Bullets. His 34 points included six three-pointers and 12 free throws at 100 per cent.

The Bullets were stung by a 12-0 Leicester spurt which put them 14-5 ahead, but Birmingham put together a 21-3 response as Lloyd and Reggie Kirk launched a barrage of threes. Another 14-0 run pushed Bullets to a 47-34 half-time lead over the Riders, whose cause was not helped when play-maker Karl Brown was mystifyingly disqualified by referee Roger Harrison 30 seconds before half-time.

Sheffield Sharks moved two points ahead of Manchester Giants at the top of the league by defeating Chester Jets 84-79.

Bob Donewald, the Derby Storm coach, completed a tumultuous week in the club's history yesterday by collecting another two-game ban, his second of the season, and his third pounds 300 fine of the Budweiser League Campaign.

Unless Donewald is successful with the appeal he has lodged against an earlier ban imposed last week, the 29-year-old American will miss a minimum of four games over the coming weeks including the second leg of Derby's League Trophy semi-final.

The week began with the Basketball League and English Basketball Association announcing a joint commission of inquiry into Derby's game at Chester Jets last Sunday, which was abandoned after 28 seconds because of fighting among the players.