Leicester Riders 73-76 London Lions (13-25, 40-41, 50-53)
London Lions extended their lead at the top of the BBL Championship after handing Leicester Riders their first loss in the BBL this season.
Vince Macaulay’s side move to 7-1 with Leicester now 2-1 with a wasted trip to London City Royals on Saturday which was called off due to a roof problem in the bad weather causing a leak.
The Lions led by as many as 12 in the first quarter as they had the better start making it 13-25 at the end of the quarter. In the second quarter the home side started to make three pointers and clawed their way back. At the half the score was now 40-41 and we were being treated to a classic.
Dunks galore from both teams lit up the crowd, the pick of which was Ladarius Tabb’s ferocious put back of a miss from Paul Guede.
The Lions were superior inside the key as well as on the glass, leading to 20 second chance points vs 2 for the home side. Good scoring all round from the visitors saw the lead now three points at the end of the third, 50-53.
The Riders battled back, and they took the lead in the fourth. However, a 7-0 run restored the Lions’ control and they closed out the game superbly from the foul line as Jordan Spencer went 4 of 4 and Justin Robinson 2/2 in the last 12 seconds, in fact the Capital team only missed one free throw all evening.
Key stat – Riders were red-hot from 3-point range with 15 threes made at 53% but they were held to a paltry 34% inside the arc and the Lions went on to win the rebound battle, 33-43.
BBL MVP, Robinson top scored for the Lions with 22 points in the win as well as icing the free throws down the stretch, while Brandon Peel added 19 points and nine rebounds.
(Robinson takes on Riders; Report; Duncan Hooper, Pic Graham Hodges.)
Lions scorers – Robinson 22, Peel 19, Bristol 12, Tabb 12, Spencer 7, Lockhart 4, Guede 0, Roberts 0, Okoro 0, Ikhinmwin.
Riders scorers – Washington 15, Holder 13, Thomson 13