Basketball: Durham Wildcats 63 Sheffield Sharks 65

Nick Lewis scored 12 points in Sharks win at Durham. Pic: Dean Woolley.
Nick Lewis scored 12 points in Sharks win at Durham. Pic: Dean Woolley.

Sheffield Sharks shook off the loss of talisman BJ Holmes with a hand injury to secure victory at Durham Wildcats on Sunday evening.

Holmes awaits the result of an x-ray on his hand today after he injured it during Friday night’s BBL Cup semi-final defeat at Newcastle Eagles.

Wildcats capitalised on a Holmes-less Sharks as they outscored their visitors 23-7 in the opening quarter.

But despite starting the game well and leading by as many 16 points, Durham could not hold on to the lead, allowing Sharks to get back into the game even before the halftime break.

Having cut the gap to 37-32 at the interval, Sheffield completed their comeback in the third quarter, tying the game at 37-all before going on to take a 39-37 lead after a 7-0 run to start the second half.

The lead changed hands multiple times in the second half and there was nothing separating the teams with five minutes remaining on the clock, with the score tied at 58-58.

Nick Lewis, who shared point guard duties in Holmes absence with forwards Patrick Horstmann and Olu Babalola, went on to score four points in a row for the visitors down the stretch, as Sharks managed to hold on.

American John Barber had his best performance in a Sharks vest with 21 points, while Lewis and Mike Tuck weighed in with 12 each.

The result pleased coach Atiba Lyons.

He said: “We’ve lost a few tight games so it was about time we won one.

“We started off very slowly and let them build a big lead but gradually chipped away at it over the last three quarters. I’m looking forward to getting a run of league games in and moving up the league.”

* Sharks: Barber 21, Lewis 12, Tuck 12, Payne 9, Horstmann 4, Sing 3, Babalola 2, Gachette 2.