Sheffield Sharks produced a stunning spell of play to make it six wins in a row and ground the upstart Bristol Flyers with a 92-61 victory at the EIS on Friday night.
With the match in the balance at 46-44 early in the third quarter the Sharks called a timeout and then rattled off a 23-5 run, which blew the game wide open.
A further 11-0 burst to start the final quarter made it 80-49 and gave Sheffield coach Atiba Lyons the chance to relax and throw on youngsters Marko Backovic, George Brownell and younger brother Eddy.
The victory - Sharks sixth in a row - pleased Lyons but he is determined to end his team’s habit of allowing the opposition back into games.
He said: “We have a bad tendency to take our foot off the gas and get lethargic; we want the game to be over already without continuing to execute.
“They went into cruise control and I told them to pick it back up. It happens sometimes but we can’t be flat like that against better teams.”
Sharks, with American guard Mike Cook to the fore, had dominated the first quarter to lead 25-15.
And they stretched out to 39-25 before a 9-0 Flyers run cut the deficit. However, five points from Cook, including a three on the half time buzzer, reclaimed Sheffield’s 10 point lead at 44-34.
Zach Gachette put Sharks 46-34 up with the first points of the third quarter but Flyers 10-0 burst looked to have brought the visitors right back into the match.
However, Cook’s two began the decisive run from which Bristol couldn’t recover.
Lyons said the winning streak is coming at the perfect time for the play-offs: “It’s about creating that winning culture and winning feeling. It’s easier to make adjustments and get information across when you’re winning.
“Sometimes when you’re losing it can get a bit ‘me, me, me’ and it’s more difficult so the winning mentality helps us make adjustments against better teams.”
Sharks travel to bottom of the table Surrey United on Sunday.