Basketball: Sheffield Sharks 79 London Lions 63

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SHEFFIELD Sharks were made to graft but eventually saw off play-off rivals London Lions at the English Institute of Sport.

Less than 24 hours after beating Cheshire Phoenix the Sharks were in action again as they tried to improve their BBL Championship league position ahead of the post-season.

But trailing 57-52 midway through the fourth quarter it looked like Sharks would struggle to get past a physical Lions side.

Canadian Mike Tuck was in inspired form though and his eight points in a 16-2 run turned the match on its head as Sheffield surged clear.

The eventual winning margin was decisive but was the reward for a disciplined performance by the Sharks.

Earlier, neither team covered themselves in glory during the first quarter as both barely made it out of single digits.

Eventually the Lions found some offence and scored the last four points of the period to lead 11-10.

The second quarter wasn’t much more inspiring but a five-point burst from Sharks’ Nick Lewis gave Sheffield a 23-19 advantage.

Lions are hard-working team and they prevented Sharks from building any momentum, although another Lewis two did give Sheffield a 28-22 lead.

However, London responded with baskets by Orlan Jackman and Tayo Ogedengbe to trail 28-26.

Former Sharks guard Perry Lawson reminded his old club of his skills as he made three three-point shots in the third quarter.

It helped the visitors to control the tempo of the match as Sharks became frustrated with some of the referees’ decisions.

Tuck single-handedly kept Sheffield within touching distance as he scored 13 points in the period as Lions led 47-45 heading into the final ten minutes.

Sharks ended the game on a 27-6 run.