Basketball: Harker's block foils Lions' late assault

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The Independent Online

Skouson Harker blocked a last-second shot to ensure a 69-67 victory for Birmingham Bullets over Milton Keynes Lions, for only their third BBL Championship win from 20 starts.

Skouson Harker blocked a last-second shot to ensure a 69-67 victory for Birmingham Bullets over Milton Keynes Lions, for only their third BBL Championship win from 20 starts.

Bullets announced three additions to their bench before the game ahead of today's transfer deadline. Santa Ataha and Demaija Stewart made their debuts against the Lions while Johnny Phillips, a 6ft 10in American, is due to arrive this week.

Harker had 27 points for Bullets, who trailed for the first three quarters but cut the deficit to a single point with a 9-0 fourth-quarter burst. Robert Youngblood regained the lead for Lions, but baskets by LaTaryl Williams and Adam Williams saw Bullets hanging on to their 69-67 lead.

Kevin Griffin, Lions top scorer with 17, attempted to force overtime but the 6ft 8in Harker leapt to swat away his shot. Bullets are still bottom of the table and five wins behind Lions who are eighth and clinging to the final qualifying spot for the play-off quarter-finals.

At the top of the table, Chester Jets extended their lead to four points on Saturday by cruising past second-from-bottom Leic-ester Riders 123-90, led by 31 points from Trey Moore.

Brighton Bears climbed to third by hanging on to beat Plymouth Raiders 77-70, after the visitors fought back to 71-69. Tony Holley missed two free throws for Bears, but Raiders allowed them to regain possession and Steve Lepore scored the next four points to make the game safe.

London Towers moved into fourth with a 102-90 win at a disappointingly low-key Thames Valley Tigers.

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