Cheshire Phoenix 94-101 London Lions (27-30, 47-57, 74-80)
London Lions maintained top spot in the British Basketball League following a road win at Cheshire Phoenix.
The Lions move to 15-2 – two games clear of nearest challengers Leicester Riders – as they continue their impressive season, while the Phoenix drop to 10-12 in the league
An explosive start from both teams saw Louis Sayers draw first blood before Justin Robinson hit the home side with a barrage of jump shots. As usual Ladarius Tabb was relentless on the boards on his way to a game high 28 points. At the end of the quarter, the Lions had nudged ahead to a 27-30 lead.
As the home side continued to play well, they were hitting a high percentage of shots, Sayers and the 7ft CJ Gettys pushed the scoreboard whilst Lions had Latinovic restricted and despite losing Jerelle Okoro to an ankle injury Captain Joe Ikhinmwin hit a pair of runners to ensure his side led 47-57 at half time.
The third was more of the same and showed no signs of the surge to come from the home side in the fourth. The pace of Jordan Spencer had been keeping the Lions on tract and though their lead was narrowed, they led 74-80.
The fourth saw Phoenix hit through Haynes and Sayers and Sayers put his side up as part of an 11-3 run that saw the score at 87-83. The Lions would respond with a 13-2 keyed by Brandon Peel’s and 1, before Andre Lockhart hit 9 in a row to put the Lions firmly in charge and Paul Guede went 5 of 6 free throws to ice the game 94-101.
Key stat – The Lions kept care of the ball with just five turnovers in the contest with their efficient offence needed to counter Cheshire’s 71% shooting inside the arc.
Game hero – Tabb starred in the win for the Lions with 28 points, seven rebounds and four steals as he came up with timely plays at both ends for the visitors.
Lions scorers – Tabb 28, Robinson 18, Peel 16, Lockhart 9, Guede 9, Spencer 8, Bristol 8, Ikhinmwin 4, Roberts 1, Larkai 0, Okoro 0, James dnp.
Phoenix scorers – Gettys 23, Sayers 20, Hayes 18.
The Lions will return from the GB break to two games at home, the 1st of March against the Surrey Scorchers and the 3rd of March against the Manchester Giants.