Knights, Wizards in NBL's grand finale
DEFENDING champions Tivoli Wizards levelled the FLOW/National Basketball League (NBL) best-of-three final series after edging Urban Knights, 61-58, in the second game at the National Arena on Sunday.
Omar Barnes led the Wizards with 17 point, with support from Anthony Farquharson, who had 11 points and 13 rebounds.
Urban Knights' Kwame Lawrence was the game's topscorer with 18 points and eight rebounds, while Andre Murray supported with 17 points and nine rebounds.
Winning coach Edward Marshall said although he expected more from his team, they did enough and he was satisfied. However, he cautioned against complacency ahead of the decisive game.
"... We need to come out and play better... we can play better defence... if we come out and play up to scratch, we will win the game," he said.
Urban Knights coach Oneil Brown said their offence broke down in the third quarter and they never recovered.
"For us to win Game Three we will have to close down (Omar) Barnes and Andy (Smith). That's what we did in Game One and we won...," he said.
The Knights started brighter and were in control as they took the first quarter, 18-12. But the champions came charging back in the second to win the quarter, 21-9, and take a 33-27 lead at half-time.
The third quarter was more evenly contested, with the champions holding the advantage all the way, but with the Knights trailing closely.
The Knights continued to pursue their opponents in the fourth, but Tivoli extended their advantage from one to four points with seconds to go and forced a third game.
In Game One on Saturday, Murray posted a game-high 24 points, 10 rebounds and five assists and Kwame Lawrence 21 points and nine rebounds as the Knights won, 78-63.
The decisive game happens this evening at the venue at 7:00.