BBL Championship

London City Royals 65-72 DBL Sharks Sheffield (14-21, 38-40, 49-52)

DBL Sharks Sheffield picked up a first win in three games as they ended the season-long unbeaten home record of London City Royals, prevailing 72-65 at Crystal Palace. The victory sees fifth-placed Sharks close the gap on Royals in the top four, and also levelled the head-to-head between the teams.

Leading scorers – Ashley Hamilton 15, Matthew Bryan-Amaning 11, Orlan Jackman 9 (Royals); Chris Alexander 14, Mackey McKnight 14, Dirk Williams 14 (Sharks)

Turning point – The teams were never separated by more than five points in the second half and there were four ties and five lead changes up to 61 each with four minutes to play in the game. Point guard Mackey McKnight made a momentum-changing ‘and-one’ play for the visitors as they hit a late 7-2 burst before seeing the game out from the free-throw line.

Key stat – With the teams separated by slender margins across the board, Sharks were a perfect 13-13 from the free-throw line with Williams making all six of his attempts.

Game hero – McKnight, Williams and Alexander all scored 14 points to lead the Sharks, but it was McKnight who made the key play and also added seven assists and three steals while shooting 83%.

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Andy Chubb

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