Bucknall helps London tower above rest

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The Independent Online

London Towers survived overtime at Milton Keynes on Saturday night to defeat the Lions 92-85 and open a four-point lead in the Southern Conference of the BBL Championship.

London Towers survived overtime at Milton Keynes on Saturday night to defeat the Lions 92-85 and open a four-point lead in the Southern Conference of the BBL Championship.

Towers' next six matches spread over three weeks are against Continental opposition in either the North European League or Euroleague, and they can relax after enforcing a firm grip on their domestic rivals.

Kendrick Warren fouled out with just over two minutes to play, allowing the Lions player-coach, Nigel Lloyd, to tie the scores on 77-77. His team-mate Leon Noel stole possession with five seconds remaining but could not launch a winning shot and the Towers scored the final eight points in overtime for the win, with the England international Steve Bucknall leading their points contributor's list with 26.

In the Northern Conference Chester Jets, the Championship's only unbeaten team, extended their run to six games by dominating the Brighton Bears 101-74 to leave them rooted to the foot of the South.

Tarik Wallace led all scorers with a formidable 27 points as the Jets ripped into a 33-11 second quarter for what proved an unassailable 67-31 half-time lead to leave Sky TV with a non-event for their live coverage.

In the Uni-ball Trophy Group B, the Birmingham Bullets lost their fifth consecutive home game at Aston Villa, where John McCord scored 32 points to lead the Thames Valley Tigers to an 80-75 win.

A late 15-4 run by the Bullets, including two three-pointers from Virgel Cobbin and one from Yorick Williams, cut the visitors lead to 77-75, before McCord sealed the win with three free throws.

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