For the first time in the NBL Canada 2022 season, London Lightning head coach Doug Plumb is happy.
“For the first time, in the whole year, I’m happy,” said the 33-year old maître at the end of the Lightning’s 107-82 win over K-W Titans. “You have not heard me say that in fifteen games. I thought, to this point of the season, we haven’t had a game where the guys really bought into the stuff that we showed them in terms of personality coverages, and today, we did.”
“We lost two games, and the Flint game was against an undermanned team where no guy was over 6-foot-6. So I was just really proud of the way our team had worked it out.”
It was in this spirit of redemption that the Bolts demonstrated in Wednesday night’s action, as the Lightning outclassed the K-W Titans in the rematch of Saturday night’s 102-103 thriller at the Budweiser Gardens.
While the league-leading Lightning’s victory over the second-place K-W Titans was the team’s third victory over the Titans, putting them comfortably in the postseason picture with a 13-2 record and four games over the Titans, this game had meant something different for the London.
It was clear that they were looking for vengeance following their shocking loss to the Titans, where they trailed early, rebounded strongly for the middle half of the game, and then fell by a pair of missed free throws just last Saturday.
London kicked off the game early, scoring four three-point shots early in the first quarter to lead 16-6 by the halfway point into the opening quarter. With the lead established early in the game, the Lightning never looked back and headed to the locker room with a 53-27 lead at halftime.
While the match was much more even in the second half, with neither setting a clear pace, the Lightning secured a clear victory over the Titans.
It was a clear match of differences for both teams. With 19 offensive and 44 total rebounds, London capitalized on their dominance in the paint with a 10-point differential (32 points scored vs. 22 points scored against). Their strengths on the post, combined with their ability to convert second-chance opportunities, were clear factors behind the Bolts’ victory.
The sweet taste of victory was also able to be more than enough to overcome their deficiencies on the free-throw line. The Lightning’s struggles on the charity stripe continued as they only converted 13 out of 24 free throws (54.2%), a drastic contrast to the Titans’ success in the free throw line with 22 out of 26 free throws (84.6%).
Mareik Isom, named player of the game, led the team with 22 points and added nine rebounds, three steals and a block. Amir Williams, the team’s star centre, had a double-double with 17 points and 16 rebounds. Chris Jones had 21 points for the Lightning.
Jesse Jones was the highest scorer for the Titans with 21 points and five rebounds.
With a successful rematch put to a close, the Lightning are heading away for the next six matches of the regular season. They will be heading to Lansing to face off against The Basketball League’s Lansing Pharaohs on April 9th.
Following their away stretch, the Bolts will be back in Budweiser Gardens on March 2nd, to face off against the Windsor Express.
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