BBL: London Lions 82 Worcester Wolves 65
PUBLISHED: 17:37 29 September 2018
A 30-point haul from Ladarius Tabb and a double-double from Brandon Peel saw London Lions defeat Worcester Wolves at the Copper Box on Friday.
hile it wasn’t the comfortable win seen a week earlier against the Glasgow Rocks, there were some stand out performances, including from Andre Lockhart who worked tirelessly on both ends of the court, and acting as a motivator in the absence of captain Joe Ikhinmwin.
The dunking ability of Tabb is also cementing him as a fan favourite early into the season.
The Lions defence was strong throughout the game, but for periods they found themselves struggling on the other end of the court, particularly from downtown, scoring just four from 25 attempts.
The saving grace for the Lions is that the Wolves were worse from everywhere else, especially the free-throw line, from where they didn’t make a single shot in the first half.
The Wolves, who were delayed in traffic getting to the venue, took some time to get into the game and Lions took the opportunity to quickly put away six unanswered points.
The Lions offensive struggles then took over and within a minute and a half Worcester had taken the lead.
The rest of the quarter was a scrappy affair as both sides traded turnovers as they attempted to wrestle the lead.
With just over a minute left in the first Tabb took control, following his two made free throws with a dunk off a Lockhart rebound in the dying seconds to give the Lions a three-point lead.
Both sides continued to trade buckets through the second quarter until Justin Robinson stepped up with back-to-back threes giving the Lions a five-point lead.
The scrappiness continued as both teams went five minutes without scoring but the deadlock was broken by Peel with two free throws and the score at the midway mark was 32-25.
London were strong out of the gates in the second half, building the lead up to 10 within the first two minutes and Tabb would quickly make it a 13-point lead as he was sent to the free throw line after being fouled on the lay-up.
Worcester put themselves straight back into it with unanswered back-to-back threes, but the Lions pressured back on defence and, as Kervin Bristol converted the alley-oop, the lead was back up to 13 with just under five minutes to play in the third quarter.
Worcester were throwing everything at the Lions, but it just wasn’t enough thanks to some excellent defending, including a superb block from Bristol.
Two last-second free throws reduced the Lions lead to 10 at the end of the third but Lions outscored and outpaced the Wolves in the final quarter, not least thanks to seven points from Jordan Spencer, as the hosts wrapped up a second home victory of the season.
The Lions are next in action on Friday in Sheffield before returning to the capital as the defending champions in the Basketball All Stars on October 14.