Rocks cut Giants down to size

Giants 77-83 Rocks

Manchester Giants 77 (25,38,55) (Bailey 21, Gill 15, Eaves 14)
Glasgow Rocks 83 (17,40,68) (Robinson 25, Davis/Harrison/Murray 11)

The Rocks made it five BBL Championship wins in a row after using a crucial third quarter spell to beat the Manchester Giants 77-83 in the North West. Donald Robinson dominated the game with 25 points, supported by 11 each from Sterling Davis, EJ Harrison and Gareth Murray. Devan Bailey shot 4/4 three-pointers to lead the Giants with 21 points.

The Rocks started well and led 2-8 after three minutes, and when Robinson made a three-pointer midway through the first quarter they led 8-15. But they would score only once more as the Giants came storming back with a 17-2 surge over four minutes; Bailey and Stefan Gill made three-pointers in the final 30 seconds and, in fact, their last four scores in that run all came from beyond the arc.

The hosts soon pushed their lead into double-digits, at 29-19 in the second quarter, but were pegged back by Owen McNally’s triple. That was the start of an 8-0 run for the Rocks as the game returned to something close to parity; Bailey and Davis exchanged three-pointers and the teams were separated by no more than one possession for much of the last four minutes of the half. But the Rocks finished the stronger, with a 7-2 push including a Robinson dunk and Harrison three-pointer inside the final minute that gave them the edge at 38-40.

The game continued like that to open the third quarter, with only one possession dividing the teams for the opening six minutes. That was until Brice Fantazia’s three-pointer gave the Rocks a 51-55 lead in what became an 8-0 tear, with Fantazia adding three more. And the Rocks pushed on with another 8-2 tear inside the final two minutes to take a double-digit lead into the decisive period at 55-68 with Robinson scoring 4 more and Murray making a buzzer-beater.

The Giants had a good push in the fourth quarter, but that run at the end of the third proved enough for the visitors to hold on to, despite the hosts returning it to a one possession game in the last two minutes. That came about courtesy of a thrilling 12-2 push over the space of four minutes. The run was started by 7 points in a row from Gill and capped with a James Jones three-pointer, seemingly giving the hosts the momentum heading into the final minute with an unlikely comeback on the cards. But the Rocks stayed calm and Robinson and Harrison settled the game from the free-throw line by making 5/6 between them down the stretch.

Next up for the Rocks is the high-flying Leicester Riders at the Emirates Arena tomorrow – get your tickets here.

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