London Lions blewout Worcester Wolves by 32 points on Monday to take home their fourth win in five games in the BBL Championship, topping the table heading into Christmas.
The Lions started the game in fine form running away with the first two opening quarters, and setting themselves up perfectly for another league victory.
Orlando Parker led the game in points with 25 for the Lions, but he received help from Dirk Williams who added 22 points as well, along with Justin Robinson, who shone with 21 points and an incredible nine assists.
It was a night to forget for the Wolves, but Matthew Bryan-Amaning notched another double-double with 20 points and eleven rebounds.
Newcastle Eagles continued their fantastic early-season form with a tough-fought victory over the Cheshire Phoenix on Sunday, with their opposition languishing at the bottom, while the Bristol Flyers, B.Braun Sheffield Sharks and the Manchester Giants also picked up victories.
The match day kicked off in Guildford, where the Surrey Scorchers hosted Bristol Flyers, but could not prevent the visitors from running away with the game and winning by a solid 20-point margin, as Great Britain international Teddy Okereafor came two rebounds away from posting a triple-double.
His 16-point, 8 rebounds and 12-assist performance inspired the Flyers, who were backed by 20 points from Eric Lockett, 17 points from Daniel Edozie and a double-double from sub Raphell Thomas-Edwards, while Connor Cashaw and Evan Walshe were the standout players for the Scorchers.
The Eagles then took the spotlight as they came up against an impressive Phoenix side who were led by Jimbo Lull – the American dropped 30 points and grabbed 11 rebounds too, while Sehill Mouliom, Kahron Ross and Mike McCall all got into double digits for scoring.
But despite the impressive numbers from Lull and the rest of the Nix, the Eagles edged them out by a single point, thanks to Justin Gordon who scored both of his free throws in the dying seconds after Ross missed one of his moments before.
Gordon put up 22 points, while Evan Maxwell and Cortez Edwards also had dominating games – with Rahmon Fletcher setting his teammates up 14 times.
Meanwhile in Glasgow, the Sharks were in complete control over the Rocks as Jeremy Hemsley and Nicholas Lewis stole the spotlight with their exceptional offensive displays – scoring 55 points between them.
The home side turned the ball over 17 times compared to their counterparts nine, and they also failed to make a block or close their opponents down in time – but they will remain encouraged by Isa Brandon and Gareth Murray’s performances as they put up a combined 37 points in just over 50 minutes played between them.
Also up north, the Manchester Giants rose to sixth place, two places below the Sharks, with a big win over seventh placed Raiders – who impressed in the BBL Cup earlier in the season.
Lyle Hexom’s dominating 29-point performance and Jordan Whelan’s contribution of 25 points of the bench were vital in establishing a healthy lead over their opponents, while the Raiders only converted 6 points from turnovers compared to the Giants 24.
With only eight players available, a big performance was required from at least one of their subs, and they got it from Denzel Ubiaro, who dropped 18 points to support Ashley Hamilton’s 22 points and Will Neighbour’s 18 points – but in the end the Giants had too many options and fire power for the Raiders to stop.
Friday night saw a trio of home wins for Leicester Riders, London Lions and Newcastle Eagles.
Live on Sky Sports Mix, Riders remained the only unbeaten team in the league as an early three-point barrage saw them past Bristol Flyers, 85-73, led by 19 points and eight assists from Geno Crandall.
The hosts were irrepressible out of the blocks, hitting six of their seven long-range attempts, from five different players, en route to 34 first quarter points. The lead reached 54-34 before the break on another Corey Johnson trey, Riders going 10-15 (66%) in the first half before their defence gave Flyers no way back after the break.
Elsewhere, Lions duked it out with Manchester Giants in a tough and tight game at the Copper Box Arena, prevailing 92-88 as Kevin Ware hit a key three-pointer with 45 seconds to play.
Giants had led 34-19 after a massive first quarter, but Lions chipped away at the lead and then dominated the third period to get ahead. They hit nine points in a row early in the third to take a 62-61 lead on a Dirk Williams dunk, as he hit nine threes on his way to 37 points for the night.
The teams could then barely be separated through six lead changes until Ware’s big play put Lions up for good, and he iced a couple of key free-throws to settle it, finishing with 21 points in support of Williams.
Finally, Newcastle Eagles beat Worcester Wolves 88-75 at Eagles Community Arena. Three quarters of the game were separated by just one point, but Eagles settled the game in the second stanza, winning it 28-15.
That came as Evan Maxwell scored six points in a row in a 10-2 burst, before the lead swelled when Drew Lasker hit five points to spark a run of ten unanswered to make the score 44-29 heading into the break.
Meanwhile, the BBL Cup semi-final draw took place during half time of the Sky Sports game, with London and Manchester set to do it all again, while old foes Leicester and Newcastle will clash once more. Games will be played early in the New Year, dates to be confirmed.