BBL: Glasgow Rocks 77 London Lions 91
PUBLISHED: 15:18 14 May 2018 | UPDATED: 15:18 14 May 2018
London Lions will be facing the Leicester Riders in the final of the BBL Playoffs at the O2 Arena on Sunday, after a thrilling win in Glasgow on Sunday.
The game had been tied going into the second leg thanks to a big comeback from the Rocks. But it was the Lions who took the momentum into the game, with a forceful presence on the ball that forced turnovers and showed no mercy.
The Lions never let the Rocks lead, and took the game to book their second finals appearance since they moved to the capital in 2012 – both under coach Vince Macaulay.
With the Lions spread out the scoring – with Jon Thompson (17 points), Justin Robinson (16 points) and Dzaflo Larkai (14 points) leading the way for the visitors – the Rocks couldn’t identify whom they should defend.
Much like Thursday’s first leg, the Lions had the better of the first half. But unlike the first leg, the Lions were able to match the Rocks as the comeback began and ensure it was seen off.
While the Lions weren’t as prolific at scoring in this leg, the first quarter nonetheless saw them put up a healthy lead.
By the time Cory Dixon made the layup with five minutes gone, that lead was nine. A minute and a half later, a small comeback from the Rocks had been put down and the lead restored – and extended to double digits thanks to Brandon Peel.
Two successfully made free throws – the Lions would only miss one all game – from Thompson saw the lead up to 13 as the quarter drew to a close.
A low scoring (15-18) second quarter followed, as the Rocks lurched between seemingly giving up and desperately trying to get back in with a chance of making the final game of the season.
With five minutes gone Andre Lockhart – who powerfully blocked several successive attempts at a comeback from the Rocks – netted a three point shot that put the lead up to 18 points.
The trading of buckets that followed only helped the Lions, who went into the half break ahead by 15.
The remaining two quarters saw patchy periods from both sides, but the Lions never let go of the lead. As the turnovers flew thick and fast, the Rocks went into their final quarter of basketball of the season needing to overcome a 63-49 lead.
They left it far too late, with an eight point run with just one and a half minutes left in the game. Dixon stepped up to stop the rot and restore the lead to 19, which Lockhart confirmed with two free throws shortly after.
Despite five quick points for the Rocks in the dying seconds of the game, it was the Lions who move on to take on the Riders on Sunday.
More details about the game, and how to get tickets, are available via the BBL website bbl.org.uk/londontickets.