Bristol Flyers 66-75 London Lions (21-27, 42-42, 55-63)
Friday 14th February, Wise Arena, Bristol
League leaders London Lions extended their run at the top of the BBL Championship standings Friday night in Bristol after overcoming a fiery Bristol Flyers, 66-75. Lions were without Ovie Soko due to illness.
Having suffered a difficult couple weeks since their Cup Final defeat, Bristol Flyers were determined to bounce back and tried to give the current BBL Champions a run for their money, A strong home side start saw Coach Kapoulas’ men lead 17-4 before a Lions time out halted their march. From the timeout, Brandon Peel scored on a three-point play whilst Justin Robinson and Jules Dang-Akodo both made three’s. Ed Lucas scored his first points as a Lion draining a pair of free throws before Ali Tew tied the game at 19 with a monster jam. Back to back triples from Lucas meant the Lions led after the buzzer, 21-27.
The contest was deeply competitive, as Levi Bradley was hitting everything for the hosts. He would net for three’s in the first half. When Chris Taylor hit his only triple, the Flyers had built a 41-30 lead with 4.25 of the half remaining. A Coach Macaulay time out halted the charge and Lions eased their way back until Peel’s triple tied things at 42, Jordan Whelan had a chance to give the visitors the lead but missed his lay up at the buzzer.
In the third, the Lions would do a good defensive job on Flyers as they would hold them to just 13 points in the quarter, most importantly, Bradley who had 25 at the half would only add one point to his tally. That allowed the Lions to give themselves an eight-point lead going into the final period, 55-63.
The fourth was a low scoring one from both sides. Flyers battled back and with just over four minutes to go to the buzzer, Flyers found themselves one-point behind. However when Andre Lockhart dropped a triple the lead was 66-71 and no way back. The Flyers offense began to fatigue, and before they knew it, Lions had countered with an 8-0 run to seal the game for the champions, 66-75.
Ali Tew’s double double of 12 points and 11 boards was a highlight as the Lions dominated the boards whilst also shooting 42% from behind the arc. Bradley finished on 28 for the Flyers.
Report Duncan Hooper, Pics Graham Hodges.
The Lions now have two weeks off due to the International break for GB and will return to action on the 1st of March at the Copper Box Arena when they host the Leicester Riders. Tickets are available HERE.