Riders put one foot into the Final after moving towards a capital return
BBL Play-Offs Semi-Finals, First Leg
London Lions 71 (19,40,63) (Taylor 23, Hassan 14, K Williams 12)
Leicester Riders 90 (24,47,69) (Clark 21, Robertson 15, King 14)
Leicester Riders used a strong final quarter effort to pull away for a 71-90 victory on the road at London Lions in their First Leg.
The Lions were within two points in the third, but the league champions held their opponents to just eight in the fourth to earn a 19-point lead to take back home.
Brandon Clark top scored with 21 points and added 10 assists in the win with four other Riders reaching double figures in a typically balanced scoring attack - while Taylor King did the business under the basket with 14 points and 16 rebounds.
The visitors edged a tightly contested opening period by five before stretching out to a 21-35 lead in the second period. London managed to cut the deficit in half to trail by seven at the interval.
A triple from Kai Williams cut the gap to 62-64 late in the third, but that was as close as they would get as Riders powered to victory with a pivotal final 10 minutes.
Leicester kept their opponents scoreless for over five minutes, whilst building a commanding lead with an 11-0 run.
Zaire Taylor finished with a game-high of 23 points for the Lions as they now face an uphill battle to make a return to The O2.