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London Lions Rock Copper Box to beat Glasgow

PUBLISHED: 12:21 21 January 2017

London Lions huddle for a team talk against Glasgow (pic Graham Hodges)

London Lions huddle for a team talk against Glasgow (pic Graham Hodges)

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London Lions 70 Glasgow Rocks 67

London Lions Navid Niktash keeps a Glasgow rival at bay (pic Graham Hodges)London Lions Navid Niktash keeps a Glasgow rival at bay (pic Graham Hodges)

The London Lions got back to winning ways with a hard-fought victory over the Glasgow Rocks last night.

The home side’s win was largely thanks to a fantastic partnership between Alex Owumi and Zaire Taylor, who combined for 44 points and 15 rebounds.

But Kai Williams also shone for the home side with a double-double of 14 points and 10 rebounds.

The game started with Navid Niktash picking up from where he left off against Surrey, getting a superb early basket from way behind the arc.

London Lions Zaire Taylor is helped back to his feet by team-mates (pic Graham Hodges)London Lions Zaire Taylor is helped back to his feet by team-mates (pic Graham Hodges)

Glasgow fought back and the Lions struggled getting their defensive plays set in time, finding themselves down by seven points with three minutes to go in the quarter.

But Taylor and Williams teamed up to bring the Lions back within two by the end of the quarter, with Taylor seemingly determined to win the game single-handedlt as he ended the quarter by a hard drive to the bucket, earning two points and the free throw which he cooly converted.

It didn’t take the Lions long to get straight back to the action, with Wells getting an easy lay-up to tie the game with just over 10 seconds gone in the second quarter.

The Lions struggles on defence continued and the Rocks quickly built their lead back up to nine with under six minutes left in the quarter as coach Nigel Lloyd called timeout.

The team-talk did the world of good and, by the time Taylor completed a lovely steal and marched up the court to assist Williams with the lay-up the Lions were back within two.

It was then the Rocks turn to call timeout, but the last two minutes of the half saw a single three-point shot made for Glasgow to leave them with a 38-33 lead at half-time.

The Lions defence picked up as the third quarter got underway and despite Glasgow having short bursts of bringing the lead back up again, a stunning three-point shot from Williams, followed by a similar effort by Owumi, got the Lions within one.

Then, following a lovely Owumi block, the Lions were in the lead thanks to two points from Niktash.

Both teams seemed destined for a close fourth quarter before Team GB’s Gareth Murray was adjudged to have committed an offensive foul on Kai Williams.

Having been warned about his conduct, Murray then went back to argue with the officials twice, both times being given a technical foul and heading back to the locker room.

The Lions smelled blood and, despite everything the Rocks threw at them, they ended the first of the weekend’s double-header with a win.

They are back in action at the Copper Box on Sunday against the Worcester Wolves, with tip-off at 4pm.


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