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BBL: Bristol 81 London Lions 64

PUBLISHED: 19:27 28 January 2018 | UPDATED: 19:27 28 January 2018

London Lions' Brandon Peel tries to find a way through at Bristol (pic Graham Hodges)

London Lions' Brandon Peel tries to find a way through at Bristol (pic Graham Hodges)

Archant

Another double-double for Brandon Peel (16 points, 15 rebounds) wasn’t enough to stop the London Lions suffering a loss at Bristol Flyers on Saturday.

The Lions never really owned the game, only managing a one point lead, and were often outplayed on the ball by a Bristol team that were determined not to lose.

Things weren’t helped by a bad day at the office as far as shooting was concerned, particularly from behind the arc where only three shots from 23 attempts went in.

Cory Dixon was frustrated as he was repeatedly wrestled down to the floor, which completed a dismal evening for the Lions in coach Vince Macaulay’s first loss since retaking the role earlier in the year.

Even when the Lions did get to the line they struggled, missing ten free throws compared with just two missed by Bristol.

As the game started, it seemed to be evenly matched, with Momcilo Latinovic getting a three to take the lead as the first minute expired.

That was the last lead the Lions would have, and their last three point shot made of the half.

The Flyers then stepped up a gear and the Lions struggled to respond. With six minutes gone in the game, the Lions were down 19-11 and Macaulay called timeout to get them to regroup.

That lead proved stubbornly difficult to eat into, and the quarter closed with Bristol ahead 25-14.

The second quarter was much of the same, with the Lions throwing everything at stopping Bristol building up a big lead. It seemed to be working, and with just two minutes to go in the half, the lead was back into single figures.

Bristol called timeout again and then it all went wrong for the Lions. Two quick and easy steals for Bristol, coupled with making the most of their time on the ball meant the half closed with the Flyers 47-28 up.

The third quarter (winning it 17-13) was to be the Lions best, although you wouldn’t know it from the way it started.

The Lions, who hadn’t scored in the last two minutes of the first half, failed to score for the first three minutes of the second, allowing Bristol to stack the lead up to 24 points.

The Lions got to work on that lead and, as the clock ticked into the final minute of the quarter, a Dixon layup bought it to just 11 points.

Bristol came back to life and as the buzzer sounded on the third, the lead was 15 points (60-45).

The visitors wouldn’t get as close again and as the game came to a close Bristol had taken it by a margin of 17 points.

Lions are next in action in Newcastle on Friday night, before returning to the Copper Box to take on Worcester. Tip off is at 7.30pm.

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