The London Lightning lost two games to start the year, and just six matchups into the season the defending National Basketball League of Canada champs have managed to avenge both defeats.
The Lightning's Gabe Freeman, the 2011-12 MVP, scored the first basket of the game just four seconds after the tipoff and London never looked back on way to a 127-102 win over the Mississauga Power at Budweiser Gardens on Sunday.
The Lightning received a spark from a different player in each quarter.
Freeman had eight points in the first 12 minutes, while Jason Forte had six points in the second quarter.
Jaytornah Wisseh took charge by getting 10 of his 12 points in the game in the third quarter, and to close out the matchup it was Maurice Bolden getting 17 points in the fourth quarter. Bolden finished with a game-high 26 points.
By halftime, 10-of-11 of the Lightning’s players had found themselves on the stat sheet in the point column and were leading 54-38 after a big second quarter push where London outscored Mississauga by 12 points.
“We’re coming along and I think we’re figuring out what everyone loves to do,” Freeman said, finishing the day with 24 points and nine rebounds. “We’re picking our spots and defence is doing it. We come out and hit them in their face and that’s what we want to do every game.”
All around the Lightning just played more like a team. London had 53 rebounds, while Mississauga had 28. The two-time champs had 75 points from players off the bench, compared to the newly relocated team with 44.
Although Canadian Tyler Murray only averaged six minutes a game for the Lightning last year, on Sunday he showed why he could have been more of an asset to London by dropping a team-high 19 points and five rebounds for the Power against his old team.
Since losing their first two games of the 2012-13 season, the Lightning have comeback to win their last four by an average margin of 16 points — three of those victories have come in as many days.
The Power have lost their last three games.
“The last three games we came out and played great defence, we got easy buckets and we played hard,” said Lightning head coach Micheal Ray Richardson.
Neither team will have to wait long to see who will get an edge in the season series as the Lightning will travel to Mississauga to take on the Power on Thursday.