Force give themselves overdue lift off the bottom

Leeds Force climbed off the bottom of the British Basketball League for the first time this season thanks to impressive 81-70 win over Durham Wildcats last night.

Leeds Force's James McCann tries to find a way through the Durham line. Picture: Chris Midgley.

The Force, in their first season in the league, trailed the visitors 23-22 at the end of the first quarter, but had turned that into a 42-36 advantage by the halfway point.

A great third-quarter saw Force turn the screw to open up a 13-point lead (61-48) and although Durham pressed at the end, Leeds’s Branimir Mikulic however took control of the game, as he put up nine points and grabbed three boards in the last 10 minutes.

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Mikulic posted another outstanding performance leading the Force with 21 points and 12 rebounds.

This was assisted by a 14-point, nine assists, three rebound and three-block performance from James McCann.

The Wildcats were led by 14 points from Ralph Bucci, Chris Jones and John Puk.

Leeds will now make the journey south to Surrey United tonight.

In what is a critical game for both teams, Leeds will be looking to complete their first ever back to back wins in the top tier.

Elsewhere, Worcester Wolves edged out Manchester Giants 85-80.