Basketball: London Lions 86 Sheffield Sharks 78

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SHEFFIELD Sharks missed a big opportunity to gain ground on their play-off rivals as they lost in disappointing fashion at London Lions last night.

Sheffield slightly shaded the first quarter with young Canadian guard Nick Lewis making two free throws to give them a 26-25 lead after 10 minutes.

However, the one point lead was as good as it was going to get for the Sharks as London began to take control in the second period. Heading into half time the home team were 42-38 on top but it was after the interval that the decisive action took place.

The Lions gradually increased their advantage until a two by new signing Rod Brown made it 57-45.

Sharks rallied by scoring the next seven points but London had the final say of the quarter with baskets by Tayo Ogedengbe and Laurent Irish giving them a 61-52 lead.

Twice Sheffield reduced the arrears from double-digits back to just four as Lions tried desperately to secure the match. The final time was at 82-78 after a Lewis two with 26 seconds to play.

It was the closest Sharks would get though as free throws from Orlan Jackman and Brown made the game safe.

* SHARKS: Babalola 16, Lewis 16, Holmes 15, Tuck 11, Williams 8, Jemison 6, Sing 3, Gachette 2.

* Follow The Star sports writer Richard Fidler on Twitter @richardfidler and Google+ follow Richard Fidler on Google+. For breaking news keep checking The Star website or visit us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/sheffieldstar or Twitter at www.twitter.com/sheffieldstar