The sickness that has been in the team camp all week and beyond for one player, took its toll as the weakened team just couldn’t stay with the fast and effective Midlands outfit in the second half of this thrilling game at Rivermead. With Pau Major still out with a leg injury, Coach Keane knew this was going to be a testing encounter as Derby have just strengthened their roster but Keane’s team worked extremely hard despite their lack of training this past week.
Liam Davis hit Rockets first points with a hook shot before Ben Dixon gave the first Rockets assist to A J Carr to score with a fade away shot but Derby hit six unanswered points to take the lead on 8-4. Matias Boho introduced himself to the scorers with Rockets first treble and Davis hit another hook score. Dixon was called for two quick fouls so had to be rested as Rockets fought to maintain their winning streak as they were chasing win ten from eleven. They took the lead for the second time at 15-14. Captain Ed Potter extended the lead with four quick points and Nick Richards finished a drive with a finger roll but a pair of inside scores from the Trailblazers saw them enjoy a 24-21 opening quarter advantage.
A turnover form Rockets first possession coupled to a miss gave Trailblazers the opportunity to go further ahead but two excellent moves with assists form Davis and Boho to Richards and Sam Grant saw the Rockets duo stroke a brace of trebles to take the lead again at 27-26. A Davis swat away stopped one certain Derby score but the scores were level on 31 apiece midway through the second period. A Richards steal and Davis score was interrupted by a Derby treble and the hard working Potter took a charge which he quickly followed with an assist to Richards to edge Rockets ahead again at 37-36. An off the ball foul by Davis saw him having to spend time n the bench but Dixon sent another assist to Boho to stroke another treble which Carr followed with a brilliant arrow pass for Potter to lay up and score. Carr scored off the glass taking the hosts to a 44-36 lead but a 11-3 reverse saw the game tied on 47 each at the interval.
A David Chive drive and score followed by a Boho assist to Carr edged Rockets ahead again but a Derby treble and inside score saw them go ahead 52-51. Eight more points either side of a Chive stop and go score saw Rockets 53-60 down . This got worse as five more unanswered Derby points gave the travelling side a 65-53 lead. Could the energy sapped Rockets come again ? A three second violation stopped Davis scoring but Carr hit a treble and Boho hit one from two from the line to reduce the deficit to eight down, a gap that was to stay as the quarter ended on 61-69.
Most of Rockets key players were now out on their feet as the energy just ebbed away from them and Derby stroked three trebles and eased to a 22 point advantage at 87-65. Richards hit nine personal points in this quarter but the game was won in this period as Rockets fell to only their third defeat of the season.
Nando’s Player of the Game was Matias Boho with 15 points, 7 rebounds and 3 assists whilst the other top scorers for Rockets were Nick Richards with 19 pts, 5 rebounds and 3 assists; A J Carr also with 15 pts and 6 rebounds and Liam Davis with 10 pts and 6 rebounds.
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|01/12/2019||17:00||NBL Div 1||2019 / 2020|
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