Manchester Giants 86 Worcester Wolves 94

Zaire Taylor in action for Worcester Wolves. Picture: OLLY JONES.

Zaire Taylor in action for Worcester Wolves. Picture: OLLY JONES.

First published in Sport
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WORCESTER Wolves managed to avoid the potential banana skin of a Manchester Giants side battling hard to secure an end-of-season play-off spot with a 94-86 success.

The result made it two British Basketball League wins in 48 hours following the 88-66 home victory over Durham Wildcats.

Matters looked reasonably comfortable for Worcester during the first part of the match, but they were never able to totally quell the Manchester resistance.

The hosts' tenacity finally paid off as they edged into a one-point lead at the start of the fourth quarter and it took a fine late display of outside shooting from Zaire Taylor to enable Wolves to regain the advantage.

Coach Paul James said: “Every time we play Manchester they really get after us, playing some great basketball. We had to work hard again.

"We did well in the first-half, but lost our focus for a while after that. Down the stretch the team came together again with Zaire helping us out by making some remarkable shots.”

For the second game in a row Will Creekmore was the Wolves’ centre of attention, scoring 33 points in total and helping his team to a 25-21 lead at the end of the first stanza.

Still in arrears at half-time, 39-48, the efforts of Giants coach Jeff Jones finally took hold as Great Britain guard James Jones made a deuce of baskets to close matters to 48-44.

A few minutes later it was even tighter at 56-54 following a double of conversions from Rob Marsden.

Marsden was on target again to level matters at 63-63 with 30 seconds remaining in the third quarter, before another Alex Owumi three quietened the home support.

A bucket from Stefan Gill put the hosts’ noses in front for the first time at 69-68 with eight minutes left.

Manchester stayed in touch at 78-77 behind following a bizarre incident which saw Creekmore handed a technical foul for dissent after stumbling over an advertising board when over-reaching for the ball.

Taylor then nailed a trio of three-pointers before Jamal and Kai Williams put up nine quick points between them to seal victory.

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