Rocks falter against Lions

Sterl long

London Lions 81 (16,42,55) (Brown 19, Marks 13, Martin 11)

Glasgow Rocks 65 (16,37,49) (Davis 17, Urli 13, Murray 12)

London Lions continued their pursuit of the top four as they won their sixth consecutive game at the Copperbox, beating Glasgow Rocks 81-65. Rod Brown led the Lions once more with 19 points, 6 assists and 6 rebounds, with Chez Marks scoring 13. The Lions out-rebounded the Rocks 52-31 as they clamped down on defence and capitalised on lacklustre execution from the visitors.

That was the case from the outset, as Lions stormed into a 7-0 lead, with five for Marks, and the Rocks were scoreless for the opening three and a half minutes of the game, making only one of their first nine shots. But the Lions didn’t capitalise until an irrepressible 13-3 surge – for a 31-21 lead – in the second stanza as, again, it took the Rocks nearly four minutes to register.

Antonio DiMaria’s three-pointer got the visitors going, and sparked a flurry of triples to dig them out of a hole. Fran Urli and Sterling Davis, twice, connected from long range in a 10-2 run that made it a one possession game once more at 33-31. The Lions regained their balance and Rod Brown’s five points in the run up to half time helped them to a 42-37 edge. For the Lions, the back court pairing of Brown (13) and Marks (11) had scored more than half of the team’s points. The Rocks shot 25% (5/20) from the field but 47% (7/15) from beyond the arc in the first half.

The teams traded baskets in a cagey third quarter, before the Lions reasserted themselves in the decisive fourth quarter to win the game. Gareth Murray’s triple initially got them to within one shot at 55-52, but a 10-3 spell from the hosts sparked by Marks and capped by three points from Nick Freer gave the Lions a double-digit lead at 65-55 with six minutes to play, and they didn’t relinquish it.

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