The London Lightning have an early edge on the Halifax Rainmen in the National Basketball League of Canada final.
The host Lightning recovered from a six-point deficit in the fourth quarter to defeat the Rainmen 86-83 on Sunday at John Labatt Centre and grab a 1-0 lead in the best-of-five series.
The Rainmen, playing their third game in four days after eliminating the Quebec Kebs at home on Friday, were outscored 26-17 in the final frame.
“In the finals it’s all about the little things ‘ we put ourselves in a position to win, but we didn’t do the little things or execute down the stretch, in order to win,” said Rainmen guard Chris Hagan, who had a game-high 23 points. Hagan had a chance to tie it 82-82 on a drive to the hoop in the final minute, but it didn’t drop, leading to a Shamari Spears fadeaway at the other end that put the game away.
“It looked good, felt good, I thought it was going to drop, but sometimes that’s how it happens,” Hagan said. “But we know one shot doesn’t decide the game, that other aspects ‘ fouls, free throws, missed assignments ‘ could have put us in a better position to win.”
Game 2 is Monday at 8 p.m. in London, with Games 3 and 4 in Halifax on Wednesday and Thursday.