BBL: Worcester Wolves 84 London Lions 85
PUBLISHED: 19:30 05 May 2018
A 28-point haul from Justin Robinson saw the London Lions end the first leg of the play-off quarter-finals up by the narrowest of margins – with just one point separating the two teams heading into Sunday’s return at the Copper Box Arena (4pm).
It was a hard-fought contest between the Worcester Wolves and Lions, with the visitors building up a 17-point lead at one stage in the game.
But a strong Worcester fourth quarter, where they scored 20 points and held the Lions to just nine saw the hosts get back in the tie.
The Lions were dominant throughout the first quarter, quickly building a 14-5 lead with over half the period remaining. A three-point shot from Robinson made it 17 points for the Lions, before he was back at the free-throw line to make it a 13-point lead.
Six quick points for Worcester brought the lead back down into single digits before Jon Thompson’s lay-up steadied the Lions nerves.
A superb block and defensive rebound from Cory Dixon was to follow, and Robinson made the most of it to put the Lions back into double figures.
Thompson took the lead up to 14 points from downtown with 12 seconds left in the quarter.
The second quarter started as breathlessly as the first, with Worcester desperately trying to attack the lead but the Lions having none of it.
Dixon, with two and a half minutes gone, made a lay-up that would give the Lions a 16-point lead.
A 7-0 run for the Wolves brought the game back into signal digits again, before Robinson went back to the rim for a lay-up.
The Lions lead remained in double digits for the rest of the half, it finishing 52-39.
Worcester were getting more confidence and more success under the basket as the third quarter got underway but still the Lions held on to the lead, despite Worcester chipping away bit by bit.
Tempers were already starting to flare with both sides getting frustrated and the officials struggling to keep control.
Going into the final quarter, the Lions lead was 76-64 but the less said about the fourth quarter the better, as they struggled to hold on to their lead.
But the Lions wouldn’t let Worcester capitalise on their comeback and with 22 seconds on the clock they snatched the lead back to 85-82 before a slam dunk from the Wolves ended the scoring.