Match report: Sheffield Sharks 81 Leeds Force 70
Sheffield Sharks overcame a tough battle against local rivals Leeds Force to strengthen their grip on fourth spot.
Antone Robinson led the way with 21 points and 11 rebounds, while captain Mike Tuck also added a double-double with 18 points and 13 boards with Jerrold Brooks providing further scoring power with 17 points.
There was little between the two sides in a tight opening quarter with Sheffield narrowly edging ahead at 21-19, before the visitors began to find their stride. A 17-2 run across quarters propelled Force into a nine-point lead with Marek Klassen netting twice from downtown.
Sheffield rallied and re-took the lead with an 11-1 response, but the two teams would go into half-time level at 44. Leeds edged ahead by three early in the third, before the Sharks fought hard to hold on to their advantage gained by an 8-0 run.
The home side began to pull away in the fourth, and extended their advantage to 10 points on a triple from Brooks. Leeds managed to cut their deficit in half with 2:32 remaining, but were forced to foul late on and Sheffield sealed the win from the free throw line to tighten their grip on fourth place.
Klassen was not too far off recording his second triple-double for Leeds after finishing with 13 points, eight rebounds and nine assists as Kwan Waller top scored with 19 points.
Leeds put up a typically strong fight, although they remain two wins behind a coveted place in the top eight, and now have just five games remaining.