Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Jackson tie series


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LAKERS-CAVS PART FOUR?Not just yet.Kevin Austin had 14 of his game-high 26 points in the fourth quarter and extra period of Game 2, as British American Insurance Jackson rallied for a series-levelling 74-68 overtime win over Lumber Company Lakers in their Premier League basketball first-round series at the Wildey Gym on Saturday.It was the third time in five games that Jackson beat their Husbands counterparts, who missed a chance to renew their rivalry with the champs after the Cavs had earlier finished a two-game sweep of Warriors.There would be no such sweeps for Lakers, not after they squandered a 12-point first-half advantage (39-27) before holding what should have been a decisive four-point (62-58) cushion with just a minute remaining in regulation.But that too was wasted, with successive turnovers from national point guard Andre Lockhart leading to baskets from Austin and Javid Beckles, who forced overtime after he got on the end of a loose ball under the ring.And Jackson never trailed in the ensuing extra period, as Austin hit his trademark banker, before adding a putback and a transition lay-up to put an end to the proceedings.It proved the crowning moment of a heroic performance from the injured combo forward, following an eight-point fourth-quarter effort that put Jackson in line to avoid elimination.Locking the scores at 45 after accounting for the final four of the third, Austin was merely giving Lakers a preview of the show to come, giving Jackson an early four-point lead before scoring on a reverse layup in response to jumpers from Adrian Allman and Jamar King.However, King would hit another trey prior to an Allman free throw, only for Austin to sink his second bank shot of the period to tie the game at 58.But Matthew Moore answered with a free-throw line jumper before a Lockhart’s driving layup appeared to put the Lakers in good stead with a minute to play.It was the second time in the contest the top seeds seemingly held a decisive advantage, after Allman and King sank successive triples as part of a 19-7 finish to the second quarter that gave Lakers a 39-27 lead.However, they managed just a further six points in the subsequent third, while Peter Alleyne outscored them himself over the first five minutes of the period.Alleyne finished with 15 points and 11 rebounds, Beckles scored 11, while Austin also added 11 boards.For Lakers, who face elimination in the decisive Game 3 tomorrow night at the YMCA, Allman and Lockhart both topscored with 16 points, while King had a further 12.Earlier, national guard/forward Jason Smith had ten of his 20 points in the final four minutes to lead Mpact Station Hill Cavaliers to a series-clinching 79-66 Game 2 victory against First Works Warriors.The flurry broke open a close affair that was tied at 63 midway through fourth quarter and actually came on the heels of a technical against the same player.Andrew Alleyne led the champs, who booked a fourth straight finals appearance, with 21 points, while Damian Simpson topscored for Warriors with 15.


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