The two division leaders in the National Basketball League of Canada went head-to-head at The Budweiser Gardens for the second time in eight days. After the Lightning won 118-114 in overtime on Feb. 23, Greg Plummer and Omari Johnson sank clutch three-point shots late in the fourth quarter to help the Storm to a 109-105 victory on Saturday night.
The win improved the Atlantic Division-leading Storm’s record to 21-14 (won-lost), and the Lightning dropped to 31-5 atop the Central Division.
It was the second road win in three days for the Storm, who outscored the Oshawa Power 118-109 on Thursday night. Oshawa, second in the Central Division, is 18-17.
Before 4,752 fans in London, Ont., both teams came out strong and remained within a few points of each other in the opening quarter. The Lightning scored 32 points in the second quarter to take a 54-45 lead at halftime.
The third quarter belonged to Summerside, which dropped in 34 points to tie the score 79-79 going into the final 12 minutes.
Both teams were hitting shots and getting defensive stops when needed, but it was the final 90 seconds of the game that would determine the outcome.
Plummer found space for a three, and on the next possession Johnson was wide open for his three-pointer. London was forced to foul, but with the Storm making all of its last four attempts at the line, the Lightning ran out of time.
Adrian Moss scored 21 and Rodney Buford added 20 points, including two big buckets in the clutch for London.
Plummer hit six three-point attempts as part of his game high 32 points. Johnson and Brandon Robinson also had big games at the offensive end of the floor, each finishing with 23 points. Despite only scoring 14, Al Stewart nearly finished with a triple-double on the night with nine rebounds and nine assists.
The Storm travelled back to P.E.I. on Sunday, and will close out the regular season with five straight games at Eastlink Arena. That stretch starts on Tuesday against the Saint John Mill Rats at 7 p.m. This game was originally scheduled for Islander Day on Feb. 18, but was postponed due to the weather.
Another game Storm fans are anxiously anticipating, especially with the exciting finishes to the last two games in London, is the final regular-season meeting with the Lightning on Thursday, March 14, at 7 p.m.