The London Lightning let another opportunity slip away in 129-124 loss to the Five on Friday night in Sudbury.
Ahead 116-113 with about five minutes left in game, the Lightning made two big defensive stops, only to turn the ball over both times on careless passes. The Lightning also missed five straight free throws in the final minutes of the game.
The Bolts (7-8) led 31-29 after the first quarter and 67-63 at the half, but they couldn’t pull away from the Five (9-8), who took a 96-95 lead after three quarters.
Braylon Rayson and Travis Releford scored 29 points each for the Five. Adam Blazek added 27 and Cory Dixon 23.
AJ Gaines and Marvell Waithe led the Lightning off the bench with 26 and 23 points. Xavier Moon had 19 points, Maurice Bolden 16 and 10 rebounds and Marvin Phillips had 13.
Rayson, who was coming back from a concussion, scored 19 of his points in the first half.
Rayson, who leads the league in scoring with 24.5 points a game, and Jaylen Bland, who averages 19.5 points a game, weren’t in the Five’s lineup for their 105-103 loss to the Lightning on Sunday in Sudbury. Bland wasn’t in the Five lineup Friday.
The Five were also missing Canadian forward Grandy Glaze, who signed this week with a team in Chile. The North York native averaged 13.9 points a game for Sudbury and led the league with 11.6 rebounds a game.
Friday night was the Lightning’s fourth trip to Sudbury through 15 games this NBL season.
The Lightning lost their first meeting 112-107 and then won on their second and third trips to the Nickel City, 120-117 and 105-103.
Sunday afternoon’s game will be the Five’s first visit to Budweiser Gardens.
The Bolts defeated the league-leading Moncton Magic (12-4) 109-107 in overtime Thursday night at the Bud.
Five 129, Lightning 124
London scoring: AJ Gaines 26, Marvell Waithe 23, Xavier Moon 19, Maurice Bolden 16, Marvin Phillips 13
Sudbury scoring: Braylon Rayson 29, Travis Releford 29, Adam Blazek 27, Cory Dixon 23
Next: vs. Sudbury Sunday, 2 p.m. at Budweiser Gardens; vs. Cape Breton Highlanders Thursday, 7 p.m., at Budweiser Gardens
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