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Cavs go two up

Justin Marville

Cavs go two up

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THERE WEREN’T any extra periods this time.There still aren’t any Lakers’ wins in these finals either.Premier League basketball’s epic finals are in danger of becoming one classic sweep after reigning champs Mpact Station Hill Cavaliers took their second successive nail-biter of the series following Saturday’s 60-59 thriller over rivals Lumber Company Lakers in Game 2 at the Wildey Gym.This wasn’t Game 1’s triple overtime marathon but it was another last-second Lakers’ heartbreaker nonetheless, decided on the final possession when Ian Alexander air-balled a potential game-winner at the buzzer.Two close contests.
Two Cavs’ escapes.If only Lakers can escape two straight sweeps.It was the second time this series – the fourth successive post-season meeting between the two adversaries – Lakers squandered a crucial fourth quarter rally, following Game 1’s 13-point comeback.This occasion, the Husbands men battled back from a near double-digit deficit after another dominant showing from centre Kelvin Patterson, whose eight fourth quarter points put Cavs up 57-49 with four minutes to play.But Andre Lockhart had a runner and a pair of free throws, sandwiching Adrian Allman’s own shots from the charity stripe, before the latter sank a huge pull-up trey in transition to cut the deficit to one (60-59) 22 seconds shy of the final buzzer.Ten seconds expired as Lakers were forced to foul three times on the ensuing possession just to send reserve forward Jamai Puckerin to the stripe, but they lost out when he missed both foul shots.However, Lockhart didn’t find Allman or Keefe Birkett unmarked on the subsequent drive-and-kick play, forcing him to pull back out the key before settling for a wide-open Alexander, whose mid-range jumper fell well shot at the horn.The dramatic finish, and its result, proved somewhat of a shocker though, considering Station Hill’s pedestrian start that resulted in an early 15-point hole (31-16).Lakers actually scored the game’s first seven points without reply, and 21 of the first 27 in the contest, as Birkett and Allman ran rampant on the perimeter while their opponents could only manage ten first quarter points.Even as Birkett and starting centre Andre Boadu picked up two quick fouls, Station Hill still trailed 31-16 with 2:10 to play in the half when Patterson’s brief flurry was cut short after he too fell to early foul trouble.But Marlon Bascombe hit a thunderous two-handed tip dunk as part of four unanswered Cavs baskets to end the half (31-27), before Patterson returned to dominate the proceedings on the other side of intermission.In similar vein to Game 1, Lakers’ thin front court never held up against Station Hill’s superior size up front, especially that of Patterson, who bullied his way to the ring while countering with free-throw line jumpers.The onslaught looked even worse when Boadu and Matthew Moore picked up their third and fourth fouls respectively, as the once comfortable cushion became a distressing deficit (44-43) by the close of the third.And that was prior to Patterson’s domineering fourth period, where the burly “big man” accounted for eight of the Cavs’ then 13 points in the quarter, the last of which came on a nimble spin move towards the baseline that put Station Hill ahead 55-47.Patterson finished with a game-high 23 points while Allman led the Lakers, who were hoping to avoid a repeat of the 2009 first-round sweep in last night’s Game 3, with 14.