Lions Claim Home Win
London Lions 111 (29,50,82)
Leicester Riders 88 (19,47,65)
London Lions won at home to newly crowned Champions, Leicester Riders as Navid Niktash racked up 25 points in the 111-88 win.
Shooting masterclass performance
Niktash finished the game shooting an outstanding 62% from behind the three-point line whilst the League’s leader in scoring, Rashad Hassan poured in 22 points shooting 78% from the field proving why he is the leagues leader.
The Lions showed up to play on the night with the team recording an impressive stat line, 61% field goal overall, shooting 67% from two-point range and locking down a superb 54% from the three-point line.
Coach Lloyd's squad hit the floor against the Riders who had a few key players missing, with high intensity in the first quarter and did a thoroughly professional job on who the Riders had on the floor. A spread of scores saw the home side close out the quarter, 29-19 to the good.
Rider's comeback denied by Lions team effort
Contributions from all five starters for the Lions helped edge them over their opponents heading into the second quarter, Lions’ forwards, Rashad Hassan and Navid Niktash combined for 18 points in the first quarter with Kai Williams and Alex Owumi adding a three-pointer of their own.
Leicester fought back in the second quarter with the Lions struggling in foul trouble in the first half outscoring them 28-21. Conner Washington sparked a comeback scoring nine points for the Riders with late free throws narrowing the deficit to three points, 50-47 a whopping 18 fouls on the Lions to just 6 on the visitors had made the game bitty and broken up which suited Coach Paternostro and his men.
The Riders comeback was unsuccessful with Lions coming off the bench and stepping up with both guards, Kevin Moyo and Andre Lockhart combining for nine points. Niktash carried on his hot streak into the second adding eight points denying the Riders the lead going into the second half.
Closing out the game
Heading to the third quarter the Lions didn’t disappoint, the Lions built a comfortable lead going into the fourth quarter with a superb shooting display from beyond the arc as well as down in the low post coming from an unstoppable Rashad Hasan.
Hassan was a force to be reckoned with scoring eight in the low post making it look easy, Alex Owumi found his groove late into the third scoring seven points, most of his points coming from behind the three-point line, 82-65.
London's efforts in the final quarter proved to be too much for the Riders with Lions players closing out and making strong defensive plays.
Owumi ignited the flame he started in the third quarter helping the Lions to run away with the lead scoring six points all coming from beyond the arc, elsewhere Hassan was still going to work scoring six points joined by Zaire Taylor scoring seven and GB Zak Wells tallying five points leading the Lions to a needed win prior to the play-offs starting in two weeks.
The Lions will play the Cheshire Phoenix on the 21st April at the Copper Box in the last regular season home game, before heading off to Glasgow two days later then they will find out who their opponents will be in the first round of the Playoff’s. Tickets will be sold on Ticketmaster.co.uk for Friday’s game as well as the Playoff game on the 28th
Report by Connor Mackay Pic by Graham Hodges
Lions Scorers; Niktash 25, Taylor 17, Owumi 19, Hassan 22, K Williams 6, Lockhart 5, Ikhinmwin 5, Moyo 7, Wells 5.
Riders scorers; Walker 13, Russell 11, Washington 11
Date added: 16/04/2017