London Lions start 2021 off with a bang with tight victory over Leicester

Graham Hodges

London Lions Vince Macauley talks to his players - Credit: Graham Hodges

London Lions pulled off a dramatic late win away from home against Leicester Riders, 74-73.

The tip-off was pushed back from 5pm to 7pm with London having trouble getting to the Morningside Arena but that didn’t affect the Lions' eager start to proceedings. 

Kevin Ware has more reason to celebrate on his birthday with a useful six points coming off the bench. He proved to be part of a solid team performance from the Lions. Four players all reached double digits in scoring.

Coach Vince Macauley’s side seemed to not miss a beat after having not played since December 21.

They came out firing with Robinson making the team's first 3-point attempt of the game.

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The formidable Riders side were not going to be silenced so easily though. A beautiful team move led to an uncontested corner three to tie the game at 19-19 going into the second quarter.

It was a closely contested game as these two sides seemed to be an even match-up on both the offensive and defensive ends of the floor.

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Despite the Riders' defensive strength, the Lions were still able to play their fast-paced brand of basketball, getting from one end of the floor to the other with ease. 

Geno Crandall took the game to London at the start of the second half and finished the game with an impressive 23 points, shooting 8-16 from the field.

His impressive offensive performance was in vain though as a rapid turnaround by the Lions shifted the momentum in their favour in the final minute of the game, with two massive steals by Dirk Williams and DeAndre Liggins and then finally a composed mid-range jumper from Parker to put the Lions ahead 74-73, which would then end up being the final score. 

A massive road win for the Lions against a tough and well mentored Leicester side and their next game won’t be any easier when they face Newcastle Eagles at home on Friday, January 8.

The following night they will welcome the Glasgow Rocks to the Copper Box Arena for a second match in as many days.

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