posted by Romy Aquino
HALIFAX RAINMEN 93, LONDON LIGHTNING 85
Halifax Top Performers
Taliek Brown - 20 pts (5-7), 10-14 FT, 2 reb, 2 ast
Chris Hagan - 16 pts, 6 ast, 3 rebs, 2 stl
London Top Performers
Gabe Freeman - 21 pts (8-12), 21 rebs, 4 stl
Eddie Smith - 18 pts, 6 rebs, 5 ast, 4 stl
Michael Ray Richardson and the London Lightning have never lost two in a row this season.
The Lightning were shocked by the Halifax Rainmen for a second straight night, losing 93-85 forcing a fifth and final decisive game in the NBL Canada championship series. Halifax had a stellar second half and stepped their defence up in the third quarter where they held the London Lightning to just 10 points.
"We just focused on defence really. That’s what its all about, our defence." said Vancouver native and Halifax Rainmen guard, Joey Haywood "We played bad defence in the two games we lost to them, so we buckled up and played hard."
The former Saint Mary Huskies guard scored 9 points for Halifax including two big baskets in the third quarter that sparked the Rainmen run. London shot just 4 for 21 in the third quarter and the Lightning couldn’t recover after that. The series is now knotted at two games apiece.
Taliek Brown led the Rainmen with 20 points, scoring 16 of them in the second half. Even though it was the Rainmen’s sixth game in eight nights, the Rainmen put all their effort on their home floor.
"We just played hard. We flat out played hard and just gave it our all. Everybody’s tired but it’s for a championship." said the former UConn point guard, Taliek Brown.
London failed to get any momentum going in the second half and shot just 36% from the field in the contest. NBL Canada MVP, Gabe Freeman had a monster game with 21 points and 21 rebounds but fell into foul trouble at the midpoint of the fourth quarter. Eddie Smith finished with 18 points and game one hero, Shamari Spears, scored 15 points.
The series now moves back to London where the Lightning will look to regroup, defend their homecourt and win a championship.
The Halifax Rainmen will not let that come easy though. Joey Haywood would like to build off their successes from the past two games and incorporate that into game five.
"It’s going to be tough again, they’re a good team. We’re going to have to come together like in these last two games at home." Haywood told NBL Live! “Come together, play as a team. If we play as a team, we can win and beat anyone.”
This also means more travel for the Halifax Rainmen who have had a hectic playoff schedule. Halifax’s Taliek Brown is not going to let the fatigue be a factor.
"My body is beat." said Brown "So hopefully these couple of days we can rest a little and get back to it on Sunday. We just got to play hard…we just got to play defence just give it our all. It’s our last game. Both teams have got nothing to lose."
The remainder of the playoff dates look like this:
NBL Championship Finals
Game 5 at London Sunday, March 25 – 2PM EST
(Photo via the LFPress)
Who will be holding up that championship trophy on Sunday? Send me a tweet and let me know! @romyaquino