The London Lightning marched into the Mile One Centre in St. John’s, and beat the Edge 101-86 in the third game of the Central Division Finals. In doing so, they ensured there would be a game six at Budweiser Gardens. Royce White led all scorers with 24, while Kyle Johnson had 22 and was the Westervelt College player of the game.
After their game two loss at home on Thursday, there was a chance that even in a seven game series, the Lightning had played their last game in London because of the two-three-two playoff setup. If the Edge had won games three, four, and five at home, they would win the series. That makes the Lightning taking game three in St. John’s that much more significant.
The Lightning fell behind early, but kept it tight and did a good job of keeping more than 5,000 East Coast fans in their seats. London played a much stronger game defensively than any in the series, getting in lanes and blocking shots. Despite a brutal travel schedule to get there, London was the grittier team. Despite being the home team, the Edge started to wear down over the course of the game, allowing London to pull away.
Despite trailing 27-21 after the first, Kyle Johnson caught fire in the second, posting 15 of London’s 30 points. That gave London a narrow 51-50 lead at the half, but it was a lead that London would never relinquish.
There wasn’t much between the two teams in the third, and the game was very much in the balance at 74-70 going into the last stanza. Royce White had a hot hand and scored 10 of his game-leading 24 in the third, and was 4/6 from the field.
In the fourth quarter, the Lightning took over. Kirk Williams Jr. was a monster off the bench, putting up 9 points in ten minutes of play. He also had two rebounds and an assist.
The Edge seemed to have run out of gas, and the game slipped away. The Lightning outscored St. John’s 27-16 in the fourth, en route to the 101-86 victory.
— London Lightning (@LondonLightning) April 22, 2018
Johnson was the Westervelt College player of the game for London with 22 points. Garrett Williamson and Ryan Anderson both chipped in 11 for the Lightning. Carl English led all Edge scorers with 25, and Desmond Lee had 24; but the rest of the St. John’s team only scored 37 between them.
The Lightning are now back in the driving seat with a 2-1 series lead, and no matter what, the last game of this series will be played in London, in front of hometown fans. That alleviates a lot of pressure from London for the remaining games on the East Coast.
Game Four of the National Basketball League Central Division Finals goes Monday night at the Mile One Centre at 5:30pm.