Basketball: Deng glows for Guildford

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The Independent Online

Guildford Heat closed in on home advantage for the British Basketball League play-off quarter-finals with a 92-87 win at Brighton Bears, while fourth-placed London Towers were losing 90-88 at home to Chester Jets despite a fourth-quarter fightback on Saturday night.

The top four qualify for a home knock-out quarter-final. The leaders Newcastle Eagles, second-placed Scottish Rocks and Sheffield Sharks, third, have pulled clear of the pack, but Guildford are now just two points behind Towers, after a late 6-2 run for an 84-78 lead secured their fourth straight win. Ajou Deng, 28 points, and Brian Dux, with 13, led Guildford's scorers.

Towers, beaten 79-75 at Sheffield on Thursday, are now three wins behind the Sharks after that fourth-quarter comeback led by Antonio Hudson, 20 points, failed to break Chester's grip and prevent their first win over Towers this season in four attempts.

Plymouth Raiders' play-off hopes slid with a 90-82 defeat at Leicester Riders. Ryan Huntley led the home team with 29 points, including 14 in a 24-6 second-quarter run.

The Riders had lost 84-74 at leaders Newcastle on Friday night, where the home side fought back to overcome the absence of player-coach Fab Flournoy, plus Andrew Sullivan and Andrew Bridge with the England team at the Commonwealth Games.

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