Between them, the London Lightning and the Windsor Express have won six of the National Basketball League of Canada’s seven championships. Both teams play each other with an intensity matched only by some of the greatest sp[orts rivalries of all time – Yankees-Red Sox, Steelers-Patriots, Canadiens-Maple Leafs, you understand what I say.
This was a big game right off the bat. One of the NBL’s long-time players, Ryan Anderson, a 6’4″ guard with an eye for 3-point accuracy, was four points away from becoming only the second NBL Canada player to amass 3,000 career regular season points. At the end of the first half, he reached his mark.
Honestly, it’s fitting that Ryan Anderson scored point #3000 in this game – he’s spent most of his NBL Canada career either playing FOR Windsor against London or FOR London against Windsor. Such is the intensity of that rivalry.
London held a solid lead throughout the night,and look who they’re using in a Twitter photo after the third quarter…
Look, that’s Xavier Moon – the former Albany Patroons Rookie of the Year. Doing good, my man, doing good… I should note that Moon finished the night wiht 20 points, 6 assists and two steals.
But in the final minutes, the Express closed the gap – and forced the contest into overtime. By the way, London’s got a Patroon, so do the Windsor Express – DeAndre Thomas, the big man, cleaned up the glass with nine rebounds in 17 minutes of play.
The Express forced overtime with a last-second Ryan Anderson 3-pointer. Then both teams ground out five more minutes of play, with Windsor holding the final cards and the lead … but with seconds to go and the Lightning down by two points, Xavier Moon took a foul in the act of shooting, nailed both free throws, and we’re now in overtime again.
And in the second overtime, London surged forward with the big win. 147-144.
How big was this win?
Both teams set an NBL Canada record with 291 combined points, the most ever scored in a regular season game in league history.
London played in their sixth overtime game of the season, the most overtimes any team has achieved in a single NBL regular season.
Windsor set a franchise record with most points scored in a regular season game (144) – as well as the most points allowed by an opponent (147).
For the first time, Windsor had TWO men score at least 35 points in the game, Juan Pattillo, a 6’8″ forward from Western Kentucky nabbed 35 points and 16 rebounds, while Chris Jones, a 6’0″ point guard from Louisville, had 35 points, 6 rebounds and 6 assists – OFF THE BENCH.
And this was only one of three exciting matches on yesterday’s NBL Canada schedule. In another provincial battle between two of Ontario’s four NBL teams, the Sudbury Five squeaked out a 116-115 win over the Kitchener-Waterloo Titans, while in Charlottetown, PEI, the Island Storm lost an overtime game of their own, 115-113 to the St. John’s (Newfoundland and Labrador) Edge. And playing for the Edge – former Boston Celtic Glen “Big Baby” Davis, who finished the night with 29 points, 10 rebounds, six assists and two steals.
I’m telling you, there’s some exciting hoops action in Canada this year.
Definitely worth checking out, in my humble opinion. 😀
FTC TRANSPARENCY NOTE: I work with the National Basketball League of Canada as their League Statistician and Director of Player Clearances. At no time did I request or receive any compensation or remuneration for this post.