The London Lions cruise past Sheffield Sharks to hit 50 points in the British Basketball League Championship.
Donte Grantham impressed with finesse shooting outside the arc, scoring a double-double of 20 points and 10 rebounds to help seal an 84-73 victory at the Copper Box Arena.
After suffering a narrow defeat to BC Wolves 24 hours prior, the Lions were hungry to bounce back – entering the game with the intent of securing a third successive victory over the Sharks this season.
Petar Božić’s side had won six of their last ten clashes against the visitors and faced a Sheffield side with low confidence following defeat in Surrey.
After winning the tip-off, Grantham single-handedly fired the hosts in front by draining three triples along with another two points to bag 11 points in six minutes.
London exerted dominance throughout the entire first quarter with Conor Morgan registering three-pointers of his own to ensure a 24-18 advantage.
The Lions continued their impressive run into the second quarter, keeping the Sharks at bay, as superstar Matt Morgan scored nine, with little threat posed on their end of the court.
Gabe Olaseni frustrated the opposition after swiping away a powerful shot to contribute towards London’s six blocked shots recorded on the night.
Pinpointing shots with excellence, the home side comfortably maintained a 20-point edge over the visitors throughout the quarter to end it 53-35.
A halftime talk seemed to have sparked a desire for Atiba Lyons’ side to dive back into the game as they converted the first four points, but still found themselves trailing behind the Lions for the remainder of the third quarter.
It was not long before the hostsre-discovered their rhythm again when a genius move from Luke Nelson saw him deliver an alley-oop pass for Josh Sharma to slam in – lifting the entire home crowd into roars of celebration.
Sharma topped that display with his first triple to increase the Lions’ lead to 75-47 crashing out of the third quarter in style.
The tempo slowed down as the match enter edits final quarter, with free throws exchanged on both ends of the court. The reigning champions were clinical from the free throw line, converting 72%accurately in the end.
A visibly content home side relaxed an defended while the Sharks slowly but surely trimmed their deficit by scoring eight points in nine minutes. They outscored the hosts by 17 points in the last quarter, though it was too late to overturn the dominant hosts.
The Sheffield Sharks will get a chance to bite back on Sunday when they welcome London Lions to the Canon Medical Arena in the reverse fixture with high hopes of avenging their defeat.
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