DURHAM WILDCATS' play-off hopes were further dented when Leicester Riders swatted the North-Easterners aside with an 86-76 victory at Newton Aycliffe.

Andrew Sullivan was in top form for the Riders with a game-high 26 points as the visitors seized control in the second quarter. Ralph Bucci led the way for Durham but the defeat could hamper their ambitions of a top-eight finish.

A 7-0 start by Riders put the visitors on top but Durham kept their cool and levlled the score at 14-14 on Ralph Bucci's basket. RJ Evans put Wildcats 18-16 in front but Leicester finished the first quarter as they started with a 7-2 burst to lead 23-20.

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The match was tight at 35-34 but Riders used that one point advantage as a springboard to surge 46-34 in front. By half time Wildcats had trimmed the gap to 46-38.

Leicester held their hosts scoreless deep into the third quarter as they built up a 54-38 advantage on Rashad Hassan's two. Durham steadied themselves to not fall any further behind but still had a 13 point deficit (65-52) to contend with heading into the final ten minutes.

Riders lead never dipped below double-digits in the fourth quarter with free throws by Sullivan and Anthony Downing sealing the victory.