Basketball: London Lions 71 Sheffield Sharks 73

Sheffield Sharks' John Barber top-scored for Sharks. Picture: Andrew Roe.
Sheffield Sharks' John Barber top-scored for Sharks. Picture: Andrew Roe.
  • Sharks beat London in the capital
  • Sheffield are now fifth in the BBL
  • Leicester Riders visit Sharks on Sunday - 4pm, EIS

Sheffield Sharks strengthened their claim for the fifth seed in the BBL Play-offs with victory at London Lions on Friday night.

Atiba Lyons’ side led for much of the contest but had to come from behind to reclaim the lead in the closing stages before producing a series of defensive stands to secure victory. The result sees Sharks move level on points with fifth-placed Lions, and two ahead of Glasgow Rocks, while also holding the head-to-head tie-breaker against both of their rivals, with just a week of the season remaining.

It had looked like being a comfortable evening for Sheffield, who collected an eighth straight win, as they jumped out to a 10-2 start, before leading by 12 after 10 minutes.

But Vince Macualay’s men improved immeasurably and following a second-quarter surge, Lovell Cook connected on a triple to give them the lead early in the second half.

It was a back-and-forth battle after that. But Sharks stole ahead inside the final two minutes off a Zach Gachette jump shot and survived several attempts at the win from Drew Sullivan and Zaire Taylor.

Cook paced London with 20 points while 16 points from John Barber lifted Sharks, who were without the influential Mike Cook.

* Two Sheffield Junior Saints teams face their first test of the play-offs this weekend. The unbeaten U14s take on Liverpool at All Saints Sports Centre in Norfolk Park today (noon) and U16s play Cheshire Wire II at All Saints tomorrow (1.30pm).