The London Lightning took on the Windsor Express in the latest chapter of their rivalry, with the Lightning taking the game 106-99 in a game defined by grit and intensity.
The first quarter was a defensive battle between the two rivals, as both teams struggled to connect on their shots. Luckily, Julian Boyd had a strong start, knocking down two 3-pointers, helping London outscore Windsor 21-17 in the quarter.
Things started picking up in the second quarter, thanks to Ryan Anderson, who knocked down back-to-back-to-back threes in the middle of the quarter. The rest of Bolts shooting picked up too, as they shot 48% for the half, and 46% from beyond the arc. After the half, the score was 50-42 for London.
After the half, the Express and the Bolts traded shots, as the scoring picked up. Despite foul troubles, Boyd was able to pace the team’s scoring while Anderson maintained the hot hand, as the Lightning scored 34 points in the quarter.
Windsor fought back in the fourth, narrowing the lead down to as few as four points. DeAndre Thomas gave the Lightning fits, but the Bolts were able to close out, earning a hard-fought 106-99 victory.
“They have a unique style. It involves a lot of talking,” Coach Julius said of the game’s physical nature. “Our guys started talking back, and there’s nothing wrong with that… It becomes an issue when that stuff takes you out of the game, and we saw that at times.”
Ryan Anderson, a former member of the Express, led the Lightning with 32 points.
“They’re not going to come into Budweiser Gardens and think it’s (their) house. This is our home. This is our arena. This is where we play. We’re home,” said Anderson. “Tonight my shot was rolling, if you check the stat sheet yesterday, the team was rolling, my shot was a little off, that’s OK.”
With the two teams playing each other Wednesday, the rivalry should continue to heat up. “It’s going to be interesting, to say the least.” said Anderson.
These two teams will meet again in Windsor on Wednesday. Tip-off has been set for 7 p.m. London’s next home game will take place on Jan. 28 against the Niagara River Lions.