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Express Crash, Lightning Flash In Game 1

Tuesday March 18th, 2014, 7:38am


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This article is 3296 days old.
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Windsor is in for a dog fight. The Express steamrolled past the Mississauga Power in the opening round of the playoffs. But the London Lightning are not the Mississauga Power. The two-time defending champions of the NBL fought hard to be where they are, knocking off second place Brampton last Saturday. Monday night, it was a similar story as the Lightning struck first over Windsor 95-87.

Chris Commons scored 16 points, while Stefan Bonneau and DeAndre Thomas netted 15 each. Quinnel Brown and Darren Duncan each put up 12 points.

London carried its weekend momentum straight into Game 1 and Windsor could not compete. Though the Express were well-rested after having nearly two weeks off, they were not able to keep up with the Lightning. Right from the hop, the visitors put up a sizable run. The Express rolled with the punches and closed the gap to just five points at the end of the first quarter.

A bit of back and forth basketball had Windsor coming up with the advantage, bringing the team to within four points. Chris Commons even made a giant block and the Express rallied to tie the game. Big DeAndre Thomas used his size and strength down low to make the baskets. Late in the quarter though, Express fouls cost them, as the Lightning took a 50-45 lead to halftime.

Once more, however, London came out on fire. The Lightning controlled the third quarter. They forced the Express into an early timeout and followed by building a 12-point lead. Windsor narrowed it, but soon after, its mistakes caught up. Missed baskets, fouls and empty passes resulted in London regaining that large advantage.

Windsor woke up a bit in the fourth, cutting the London lead to six. And then five. The teams exchanged more baskets. And then Windsor was within four. And…that’s as close the Express would get. In the late stages of the game, the Lightning extended its lead and won 95-87 over Windsor.

The two rivals will meet again Wednesday night at the WFCU Centre at 7:05pm for Game 2.

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