SURREY TURN UP UP HEAT ON LEADERS

creon heat 568jpgSurrey Heat started 2013 with an impressive 96-73 victory over the London Lions at Surrey Sports Park on New Year’s Day.  The result meant that the Heat moved themselves level on points with Leicester Riders in second place in the BBL Championship table.

Both sides traded baskets through the early going of the first quarter and a Jordan Spencer free-throw tied the game up at 12-12 midway through the opening period.  The Heat sparked into life from that point as they rattled off the next seven points to lead 19-12 with 2:34 left in the quarter.  Five consecutive points from Adrien Sturt kept the Lions in the contest, but the Heat bagged the final points of the period to lead 21-17 at the end of the first quarter.

In the second period, the Heat started strongly and a Chavis Holmes three-pointer sparked a 15-2 tear to take the score out to 36-19 midway through the quarter.  A pair of Frank Holmes free-throws extended their lead out to 18 points at 42-24 with 3:41 remaining in the half, but the Lions finished the half strongly as a Spencer three-pointer helped the Lions into a 12-3 finish to trim the deficit down to nine points at 45-36 heading into the locker rooms at the half.

In the second half, the Heat continued to execute their strength on the offensive side of the ball, and back-to-back three-pointers from Julius Joseph helped the home side extend their lead further to 20 points at 60-40 midway through the third quarter.  The Lions tried valiantly to get themselves back into the contest, but the home side remained on top as a Caylon Raftopolous three-pointer saw the Heat leading 72-49 heading into the final stanza.

In the final quarter, it was the Lions who started strongly as they fought to trim the deficit and get themselves back into the contest, and an 11-3 burst helped them to do that a little as they closed the gap down to 15 points at 79-64 with five minutes left in the game.

The Heat were not to be outdone however as they stepped up their intensity in the closing stages, and despite the Lions getting to within 14 points at 84-70 inside the final two minutes, the home side were not going to throw away the victory as they held on down the stretch to secure the all-important victory and start 2013 with a win.

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