COACH Paul James bemoaned the way Worcester Wolves drifted from their early high standards after witnessing the loss of a 16-point lead against Leicester Riders.

Worcester surprised their visitors by racing into a 28-15 first-quarter lead but by half-time, regular contenders Leicester had turned the tide and went on to run out comfortable winners.

“We had the better of matters early on but once Leicester turned up their defence we went away from what had got us our lead," said James. "We took a lot of bad shots and paid the price.”

It was an all-action start for Worcester as Ashton Khan stole the ball and slotted home the opening score. Trayvon Palmer did likewise, Brandon Parrish floated home from outside and Khan produced a circus spin to round off a stunning 28-12 advantage.

It was 35-21 after a double of baskets from George Beamon six minutes before half-time before a rapid trio of Leicester three-pointers inside one minute suddenly switched the momentum.

A time out was called but Riders captain Tyler Bernadini sank his second triple and once JR Holder did the same it was all-square at 44-44.

Leicester’s Pierre Hampton notched the first seven points of the second half, taking his side into a 55-46 lead and it took nearly four minutes for Worcester to reply.

A combination of wayward shooting and brittleness in defence meant there was no way back for Wolves as Leicester’s recent re-signing Trayvonn Wright found successive open paths to the hoop for easy dunks to set the seal on the defeat.

Palmer and Beamon led the home scorers with 17 and 14 points respectively.

Worcester travel to lowly Manchester Giants today (5pm) with James hoping to get back to winning ways.

“Manchester is pretty much a must-win match for us," added James. "We need to put the Leicester match to one side and make sure we perform for the full 40 minutes.”