Match Report: London Lions vs Cheshire

A stunning performance saw the Lions power their way into the semi-final of the BBL Championship play-offs with a 95-60 victory against Cheshire Phoenix on Wednesday evening.

The win completed a 42-point aggregate victory for Vince Macaulay's side and came thanks to a first half barrage from outside the three point arc. London drained an incredible 13 of their 22 shots from downtown, an impressive 61%, before the interval and only cooled off slightly when the tie was already effectively over.

Dirk Williams led five Lions in double digits, finishing with 17 points, four rebounds and three assists, while DeAndre Liggins added 16 points, sevens boards and three assists. Justin Robinson had nine assists to go with his 13 points, while Orlando Parker finished with 12 points and seven boards. Kevin Ware came off the bench to add ten points.

Cheshire Phoenix - who were led by 17 Matthew Bryan-Amaning points - were out-rebounded 48-34 and the Lions dished out an impressive 30 assists as they reached the semi-finals for the third time since moving to the capital in the 2012/13 season.

The Lions played some of their best basketball of the season as they built on their seven-point lead from the first game to completely blow The Nix away with a superb first half performance. Having dominated the opening period against Cheshire on Monday, Robinson was, again, the start man in the first half as he dropped a pair of three pointers on his way to ten points and six assists.

London were in control from the opening tip as Orlando Parker hit a free-throw before Robinson and Liggins both scored from the Land of Plenty to put them 7-0 up. Robinson continued to torment Cheshire as he hit a jumper and a pair at the foul line to give the Lions a 13-2 lead and the three-point onslaught continued as Parker, Kevin Ware and Dirk Williams all converted from downtown to give the London side a 30-15 lead at the first break.

The three pointers continued to rain down as captain Joe Ikhinmwin got in on the act to open the Lions' account in the second period before he hit two more shots from long range split by a Robinson triple to put London up 44-23 up with 5:49 on the clock.

Shane Walker hit a big dunk as the Lions mixed things up by going inside the paint, and after Josh Ward-Hibbert hit a pair at the line, Williams converted another three to make it a 30-pont game. Ware added to his total before Walker became the seventh Lion to hit a three pointer to send his side into the locker room with a 60-31 lead.

Robinson hit another triple before Williams capped a 9-0 start to the second half, and any thoughts that the Lions would take their foot off the gas was quickly gone as they poured the misery onto the Cheshire side with a 24-9 third period. Liggins made it 77-33 with a lay-up midway through the quarter and he hit a pair at the charity stripe before hitting a trey as Lions' lead peaked at 48 with with 2:29 on the clock.

The Lions went into the final break 84-40 ahead and Macaulay was able to run his bench in the fourth period, with all 12 players on the roster getting at least seven minutes as his side closed out a comfortable win.

London now await tomorrow's results between Plymouth or Worcester to find out their semi-final opponents which will then be played in Leicester on the 11th and 13th May.