Monday, June 13, 2016

2016 NBLC Finals -- Game 7 -- June 13, 2016

Halifax 125-117 London
Halifax Wins NBLC Finals 4-3

Third time's the charm.

The Halifax Hurricanes were crowned 2015-16 NBLC Champions on Monday, thanks to a tough 125-117 win in Game 7 over the London Lightning at Scotiabank Centre.

Monday’s game in Halifax was the team’s third attempt to edge out the Bolts after taking a 3-1 series lead earlier in the week.

In a game full of lead changes and exciting threes, the Hurricanes emerged on top, mostly thanks to the 41 points from NBL Finals MVP Justin Johnson.

After the Hurricanes jumped out to a big 17-5 lead, both teams evened out through most of the first and second quarters. That all came to an end when the Canes went on an 11-0 run to close out the first half up 55-44, which was highlighted by a contested buzzer-beater three from Justin Johnson.
The third quarter was all about London’s defense and the shooting of Nick Okorie. The Lightning came out of halftime putting on the pressure, eventually wearing down the Hurricanes near the end of the quarter. Okorie’s 11 points highlighted their fast-paced offense that eventually gave them an 87-82 lead.
After a back and forth beginning to the final frame, the Hurricanes eventually tied the game up at 89-89 on the backs of 2,399 fans at Scotiabank Centre.

In arguably the most exciting quarter of basketball in the 2015-16 season, the Hurricanes managed to push ahead after both teams went tit-for-tat for most of the quarter. Shane Gibson’s corner three put the Hurricanes up 110-103 with only two minutes to go. In a case of deja vu only a minute later, a Renaldo Dixon three gave the Canes an 115-109 lead with only 51 seconds left.

Those threes proved to be the difference, with London forced to foul the Canes for the rest of the game.

Justin Johnson, who picked up NBLC Finals MVP, led the game and the Hurricanes with 41 points on 12-15 shooting. Stephen Maxwell had 25 points for the Bolts, while Ryan Anderson put together a tidy 16 points and 12 rebounds.

Johnson averaged 21 points in the seven-game series, including 20, 26, & 41-point performances in the final three games. The California native also led the team with 16ppg through the regular season.

Halifax played the game without Joel Friesen, who was suspended before the game.

Halifax’s title is the first to go to any Atlantic Division team in the league’s history.

This marked the third NBLC Finals in a row that went to seven games, with the Windsor Express dispatching the Island Storm and Halifax Rainmen in 2014 and 2015.

Stats can be found here.