Express defeats Storm to force Game 7 of NBL final

Jason Malloy
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Turnovers cost the Island Storm early and often Tuesday in losing Game 6 of the National Basketball League of Canada final in Windsor, Ont.

The Storm turned the ball over 13 times in the first half to find itself behind by 16 at the break and could not close the gap, losing 107-88 to the Windsor Express.

The Storm had 27 turnovers in the game, which the Express turned into 38 points.

“Turnovers were definitely a huge part of it,” coach Joe Salerno said after the game.

“You can’t continually just give possessions away.”

Salerno said his team was getting good looks early in the game, but were unable to hit.

“That led to some frustrations and led to some guys trying to do some things on their own a little too much.”

That resulted in some of the turnovers and limited the Storm to only 78 shots. They shot 37 per cent from the field compared to the Express’ 45 per cent on its 90 shots.

“It’s frustrating. It’s disappointing again to have an opportunity and just really get outplayed,” Salerno said.

“It was a pretty poor performance by us. We have to respond on Thursday night.”

The deciding game in the best-of-seven series goes Thursday at 8 p.m. ADT in Windsor. Salerno said his players were ready for the start of the game. The score was close the first few minutes, but once the makeable shots didn’t go down, the frustrations set in.

“We certainly didn’t play team basketball as much as we should have after that,” he said, noting the team has to be tougher mentally when faced with adversity.

The teams split the first two games in Windsor with the host side winning the opener and the Storm squeaking out a Game 2 win. The Storm won the first two games on home court, before the Express pushed the series back to Windsor with a two-point victory Saturday in Charlottetown.

“We came out here and lost Game 1 big,” Salerno said. “We turned it around and won Game 2. We just have to have the guys understand we have one game left this season.”

 

 

Instant replay

A look at Tuesday’s Game 6 of the NBL final.

Score

Storm – 88

Express – 107

Score by the quarter

Storm       15    17    20    32      88

Express    22    26    28    31    107

Top scorers

Storm – Nick Okorie 23, Ed Jones 11 and Dwayne Smith 10.

Express – Chris Commons 19, Quinnel Brown 18 and Stefan Bonneau 17.

Rebound leaders

Storm – Antonio Ballard 9.

Express – Stefan Bonneau 9.

Assist leaders

Storm – Adrian Moss 4.

Express – Darren Duncan 12.

Bench scoring

Storm – 47.

Express – 35.

Points in the paint

Storm – 36.

Express – 44.

Turnovers

Storm – 27.

Express – 10.

Points off turnovers

Storm – 4.

Express – 38.

 

 

Series recap

A look at the National Basketball League of Canada finals between the Island Storm and the Windsor Express.

Game 1

Express 122 Storm 100

Game 2

Storm 104 Express 102

Game 3

Storm 129 Express 104

Game 4

Storm 104 Express 103

Game 5

Express 113 Storm 111

Game 6

Storm 88 Express 107

Game 7

Thursday

Storm at Express, 8 p.m.

Organizations: National Basketball League of Canada

Geographic location: Windsor

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