Wednesday, April 24, 2024

King stars for Lakers


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JACKSON knew they had to game-plan for Lakers’ long-range game.They just never thought it would include Jamar King.The unheralded reserve hit a personal best five three-pointers in a career-high 25 point effort as Premier League basketball’s top seeds strolled to an 88-62 Game 1 victory over British American Insurance Jackson in their first-round play-off series at the Wildey Gym on Thursday. It was the unlikeliest of game-winning performances for a pivotal post-season contest, considering the number of past and present national players littering both sides of the floor.However, none could equal the impact of King, who actually spent most of last year’s post-season watching from the Cavaliers’ bench.Jackson’s suspect perimeter defence did all the watching this time, while King put on his best Keefe Birkett impersonation months before Halloween, as the Lakers didn’t miss a beat without the league leader in three-point makes.Adrian Allman was the one who actually started the barrage frombehind the arc, hitting back-to-back triples to battle Jackson’s early double-digit advantage (23-12).But that lead was over as quickly as one of King’s releases, coming to an abrupt halt when the reserve guard entered the game to sink three second quarter treys as part of a subsequent 25-14 rally.The run was facilitated by the exit of six-foot-ten centre Pearson Griffith due to early foul trouble, allowing for easier looks for point guard André Lockhart, who also punched the seams to space the floor for King’s uncontested bombs.Lakers’ ensuing 47-37 half-time advantage then quickly turned into a 21-point rout (66-45) as Jackson’s offence became stagnant once Griffith was double-teamed as soon as he caught the ball in the paint.Failing to score on the first ten possessions of the fourth quarter didn’t help their cause any either, and King duly finished the contest by scoring 11 points in the period on three jumpers and a lay-up in transition.Allman ended the night with 16 points and nine assists, André Boadu had a double-double of 14 points and 12 rebounds, while Lockhart scored 13. For Jackson, Levar Greaves topscored with 16 and Peter Alleyne had 13.Reigning champs Mpact Station Hill Cavaliers moved one game closer to a return trip to the finals when they took a 1-0 lead in their series with First Works Warriors following 76-62 win in the opener.Cavs led for all but the opening eight minutes of the contest, taking the lead for good after closing the first quarter on a 12-2 run, before decisively stretching that advantage to 13 (50-37) midway through the third period.Kelvin Patterson had ten of his game-high 15 points in the fourth, to squash a Warriors rally that cut the lead to eight (56-48) early in that period. Jamai Puckerin and Junior Moore added 14 and 12 points respectively, while Kareem Farrell and Corey McDonald, who left the game for good with a knee injury midway through the fourth, both topscored for Warriors with 13 apiece.Game 2 in both series is slated for tonight at the same venue, with the Cavs looking to close out Warriors at 6:30.


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