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Basketball: Leopards escape a mauling

GREATER London Leopards escaped from Moorways with a 91-89 overtime victory against Derby Storm on Saturday, but the Budweiser League leaders and defending champions will still have Birmingham Bullets snapping at their tails for the final week of the season.

Reggie Kirk hit five from five three-pointers out of a team total of 14 as Birmingham won 109-90 at Thames Valley Tigers. Bullets must win their last three games and need Leopards to lose either against Tigers on Thursday or at Sheffield Sharks on Sunday.

The Leopards should have lost on Saturday. Short on bodies because of an injury to Jason Crump it took an unstoppable performance from Robert Youngblood to keep them in the game.

The pace of Stedroy Baker and the power of Canadian Brendan Graves and Englishman David Attwell repeatedly carved Leopards open.

Attwell blocked shots and dunked over 6ft 10in Makeeba Perry as Storm went into the fourth leading 69-66, only to throw the game away.

After Windless's second blunder in a minute team-mate Ted Berry fouled John White, whose three free throws gave Leopards their first advantage at 79-77, with 66 seconds left, since they had led 6-5.

Shawn Smith bailed out Derby with a buzzer-beating three to force overtime at 81-81, but White now had the momentum and hit eight points in the extra five minutes.