The London Lightning outmuscled the KW Titans 101-91 in front of a compact and loud crowd at Budweiser Gardens on Thursday.
In a game that saw few big plays or momentum changes, the Bolts stayed the course and followed through to improve on their 21-4 record ahead of a tough weekend.
The game started off slow with both teams failing to find any kind of rhythm on the offensive side of the floor. London managed to gain an early advantage on the boards, which proved to be vital in the low scoring affair.
With both defenses at the top of their game, something had to give. Fortunately for London, KW’s offense was what did. The Titans managed a lowly 14 points in the second half and, thanks to a Marvin Phillips buzzer beater, the Lightning took a 49-36 lead into half.
Play opened up a bit on both ends of the court in the second half, with London finding their stride through a 32-point third quarter. The game was all but decided in the fourth, with London cruising to their third win in a row.
Scoring was largely spread out amongst the Bolts, with Royce White leading the way with 16 points. Joel Friesen had arguably the most impressive showing, going 5-6 from beyond the arc for 15 points.
“We moved the ball well, we executed on offense the plays that we wanted to run, and we got some good shots off of those plays and knocked them down,” said Joel Friesen. “I know where I’m going to get my shots in the offense and just having great teammates that play together and move the ball together makes is helping me get open shots.”
The Bolts finished the game ahead of KW in rebounds (57-43), assists (26-21), and three-point percentage (.437%-.228%).
“We’ve got three games in three days, so all those subs, ‘OK Ryan, you did a great job we have a 20-point lead, come get an extra break.’ That’s going to pay off on Sunday and Monday,” said Head Coach Kyle Julius. “I think for Marcus it’s probably more emotional rust than anything. He’s been through a lot just waiting to get out there,” said Julius. “I know him so well I can see, just by watching him, where he’s going to make a big difference.”
The Lightning will be back in action Saturday when they kick off a three-games-in-three-days stretch, starting in Orangeville against the A’s. Tip-off has been set for 3 p.m.