BRADFORD Dragons succumbed to a frustrating 111-90 home defeat on Saturday afternoon against long-time National Basketball League Division One rivals Reading Rockets.

In a game played at a frantic pace, the Dragons started strongly, but a rough second quarter left the team in a hole they were never able to climb out of.

Returning to Nottingham for the first of a three-game home run, coach Chris Mellor’s team looked to bounce back from the previous weekend’s defeat to Essex Rebels at the first time of asking.

Reading broke into an early 8-2 lead, but the first half of the opening period saw both teams trading buckets.

After Jermayne Laing converted a layup to reduce the deficit to 16-15, Bradford leapt into the ascendency.

Great Osobor put them 18-16 in front from the free-throw line, before an Andreas Lycoudis three and more dominant paint play from Osobor saw the Dragons lead 24-21 after the opening 10 minutes.

An ill-disciplined start to the second period by Reading allowed both Osobor and Ricky Fetske to take advantage, and a pair of free throws from the latter put the Dragons up 31-30 with just over seven-and-a-half minutes to play in the half.

But after that promising start to the game, the roof fell in on the hosts, as Reading strung together a dominant spell to end the half.

A 16-3 run over the next four minutes stunned the Dragons as the Rockets took control of proceedings.

In the end, a dominant 36-point second quarter for Reading came to an end with the Dragons down 57-42.

The third quarter saw Bradford cut the deficit down to 13 points at one stage, but the Rockets quickly re-established their powerful hold on the game.

Reading continued to hold the Dragons at arm’s length in the final period, with the damage inflicted in the second quarter too much to come back from.

Lycoudis scored seven points in the final quarter as his positive start to the season continued, and Osobor added seven fourth quarter points of his own to take his personal tally up to 27 for the game.

Ultimately, the Dragons' poor free-throw shooting and defensive struggles reared their ugly heads again, while the Rockets' firepower proved too much for the hosts to handle on this occasion.

Osobor top-scored for Bradford with 27 points and six rebounds, with Lycoudis adding 15 points, including three three-pointers.

Coach Mellor pointed to Bradford's second period struggles after the game, saying: “A poor second quarter put us in a hole at half-time, and overall, defensively, we were poor in transition and keeping the ball out of the paint.”

It was a third successive defeat in all competitions for the Dragons, who fall to 4-3 in NBL Division One.

Next up for Bradford is an immediate chance to bounce back when they welcome Loughborough Riders to Nottingham for matchday eight in NBL Division One this Saturday afternoon, with tip-off at 2pm.