London Lions 102-89 London City Royals (26-23, 52-45, 83-59)
19 March 2019, Copper Box Arena, London
London Lions extended their lead at the top of the BBL Championship after avenging their recent Trophy Final loss with victory over London City Royals.
Vince Macaulay’s side are now at 19-2 after their second league victory over the Royals, who now drop to 12-8 ahead of the weekend’s games.
The home side took to the floor including big man Kervin Bristol who had missed the Trophy Final, and he was quickly involved in plays, hitting a jumper and changing two shots at the rim. Point guard Jordan Spencer netted two triples in the first as the Lions signalled their intent, however Elvisi Dusha responded to a Justin Robinson score by netting from his own half at the first quarter buzzer, Lions led, 26-23.
Spencer continued to score in the second quarter as the Lions dominated. Bristol’s presence on the floor limited not only scores for the visitors but also rebounds. Ladarius Tabb and Brandon Peel kept the scoreboard moving and it was Peel who hit on the buzzer to put the Lions up seven, 52-45, going into the interval.
If the first half was explosive, that was only an appetiser for the second. At the restart the Lions had lovely ball movement that culminated in a monster jam from Bristol who seemed to be relishing his match up with Bryant-Amaning. Spencer hit back to back triples and Robinson netted before breaking clear in the third as they put up 31 points. The deficit peaked at 26 for the Royals on Lamar Roberts score as the quarter ended 83-59.
10 straight free throws saw the Royals battle back before Robinson and Paul Guede halted the fight back, and when Tabb crowned a spectacular put back dunk on Ashley Hamilton, the game was over as the Lions cruised to the buzzer.
Key stat – The Lions shot at 52% from 3-point range, aided by Spencer’s red-hot display, while they also enjoyed 28 second chance points as they out-rebounded their opponents 44-26.
Game hero – Spencer comfortably passed his previous BBL best of 21 points with an incredible 38-point haul including seven threes in the win. Meanwhile, Robinson added 24 points, seven rebounds and seven assists and Kervin Bristol posted a double-double of 12 points and 13 rebounds.
Lions scorers – Spencer 38, Robinson 24, Peel 13, Bristol 12, Tabb 6, Guede 4, Ikhinmwin 3, Roberts 2, Lockhart 0, Okoro 0, Larkai, Ekperuoh.
Royals Scorers – Hamilton 21, Bryan-Amaning 15, Roberts 12