TCS Chester Jets made the long trip down to Milton Keynes on the back of a seven-match unbeaten run, but in the end it was the home team who celebrated their 500th BBL Championship game with a victory, edging a close encounter 97-92.
The first quarter was even-stevens for the most part but a 9-2 run by the Lions saw them into the lead after a slow start.
However, right on the buzzer, a Ryan Huntley three-pointer from inside his own half gave Jets a 25-23 advantage at the end of the first period.
Ominously however, given the Jets' wafer thin playing resources, at the first interval Mike Nurse was on three fouls with James Hamilton and Calvin Davis both on two.
After a tight second quarter, in which the lead changed hands several times, the score stood finely balanced at 50-50.
In the third the southern outfit's Pablo Miguez hit five of an 11-2 Lions burst to lead 63-57.
Although Jets hit back, notably through guard Michael Nurse, Dru Spinks netted half of eight unanswered points for the home side to open a 75-68 advantage they never relinquished.
In the final quarter, with Chester desperate to regain possession and forced into fouling, the home team took full advantage of the free shots.
MK forward Shawn Jamison, who had 32 points and 15 rebounds, hit nine points in the final two minutes to ensure the Jets never got closer than three.
James Hamilton and Calvin Davis both fouled out and the gap proved just too much to make up. Overall, this was a most entertaining game that could have gone either way, but it is the sort of game that the Jets must win if they are to compete for the BBL championship.
Jets' top scorers were Michael Nurse with 21, Mr Consistent John McCord with 17 and James Hamilton with 15.