Basketball: Bears reach the summit with pair of victories

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The Independent Online

Brighton Bears went clear at the top of the BBL Championship by stretching their unbeaten start to seven games, with an 84-75 win over the defending champions, Chester Jets, on Saturday and a 105-96 victory at Milton Keynes Lions last night.

Brighton Bears went clear at the top of the BBL Championship by stretching their unbeaten start to seven games, with an 84-75 win over the defending champions, Chester Jets, on Saturday and a 105-96 victory at Milton Keynes Lions last night.

The Jets scored 11 consecutive points to lead 44-32 in the second quarter but Brighton's back-court pairing of Ralph Blalock and Randy Duck, supported by Sterling Davis, regained control to edge ahead with a 10-4 run.

At Bletchley last night the Bears broke clear with a 17-2 run, including seven points from Rico Alderson and five from Duck to lead 54-39. A three-point play from Lions' Jason Siemon and two-pointers from Freddie Cole and Joel Burns cut Bears' lead to 94-89, but Wilbur Johnson, 25 points, and Alderson, with 22, steered the leaders home.

John McCord, who led Chester's scorers with 20 points in the defeat at Brighton, scored another 25 and added 10 rebounds in their 97-82 win against Essex Leopards in Brentwood last night. The Leopards led only once, on Sly McIntosh's three-pointer for a 47-46 lead, but 9-0 Jets' run took them clear at 70-60.

London Towers moved to fourth by condemning winless Birmingham Bullets to their eighth defeat, by 85-72, at Crystal Palace. The Towers outscored Bullets 21-6 up to half-time after trailing 30-26, with 6ft 8in Kendrick Warren and 6ft 11in Stuart Robbins inflicting the damage close to the basket. The American Kevin Griffin scored eight points on his debut, including six of the team's last eight.

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