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.”
A look at Tuesday’s Game 6 of the NBL final.
Storm – 88
Express – 107
Score by the quarter
Storm 15 17 20 32 88
Express 22 26 28 31 107
Storm – Nick Okorie 23, Ed Jones 11 and Dwayne Smith 10.
Express – Chris Commons 19, Quinnel Brown 18 and Stefan Bonneau 17.
Storm – Antonio Ballard 9.
Express – Stefan Bonneau 9.
Storm – Adrian Moss 4.
Express – Darren Duncan 12.
Storm – 47.
Express – 35.
Points in the paint
Storm – 36.
Express – 44.
Storm – 27.
Express – 10.
Points off turnovers
Storm – 4.
Express – 38.
A look at the National Basketball League of Canada finals between the Island Storm and the Windsor Express.
Express 122 Storm 100
Storm 104 Express 102
Storm 129 Express 104
Storm 104 Express 103
Express 113 Storm 111
Storm 88 Express 107
Storm at Express, 8 p.m.