London Lions 74 DBL Sharks Sheffield 73

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DBL Sharks Sheffield suffered an agonising 74-73 defeat at London Lions in the BBL.

Zaire Taylor held his nerve at the free-throw line with three seconds remaining to give the Lions a 74-73 victory at the Copper Box Arena, and see them take a share of fourth spot with the Sharks.

Lions upset the form book in the process, coming into the game having lost four of their previous five and only once at home since November, while Sharks had won seven of their last eight games.

And that seemed to show early on as Mike Tuck helped Sharks take the edge, before Rasheed Hassan got going on the inside with two scores and Alex Owumi hit a triple on the first quarter buzzer to cap a 9-0 run and put Lions 18-16 up.

They extended their lead with a burst of 11 unanswered points in two second stanza minutes, and it was 40-32 at half time when Kai Williams hit a triple with their final offence.

But Lions have won just 20% of the league meetings with Sharks in 23 years of BBL history, with two previous losses this campaign, and that run looked set to haunt them as the visitors, with the third best defence in the league, turned the screw after the break.

Malcolm Riley scored nine in a 12-4 finish to the third, and they extended that run to take the lead again on Rashawn Rembert’s triple in the first eight points of the fourth - the score at 63-58 as Lions netted just twice in nine minutes.

But a deep three-pointer from Owumi - his sixth of the game on his way to 22 points - swung the momentum back in their favour, getting the hosts back to within one point. And that margin proved crucial as Taylor scored the last five points of the game, driving to the basket on their last offence to draw the foul before making both of his free-throws.