Pens won't say who starts Game 4; Fleury pulled in Game 3 loss
OTTAWA — Marc-Andre Fleury or Matt Murray?
The Island Storm latched on to a stingy defence and helped on by a cold-shooting Halifax Hurricanes took Game 3 103-96 in the teams best-of-seven Atlantic Division final Thursday in Charlottetown.
Game 4 of the National Basketball League of Canada matchup is Saturday at 7 p.m. at Eastlink Centre. The Storm lead the best-of-seven series 2-1.
Halifax shot just 41 per cent from the floor and that, said Halifax head coach Mike Leslie, and not enough defence contributed to the loss.
“We just didn’t hit the shots. We had good looks, good execution, good ball movement but the ball just wouldn’t drop,” said Leslie. “And we didn’t get enough stops. (Down the stretch) two stops and two shots and you get a win. We have to be better… and I’m not comfortable with 103 points.”
Both teams came out to win with tons of energy early despite the rugged, physical series. The Storm jumped out to a 12-4 edge, but Halifax fought back and took a 16-15 lead with 5:34 left in the quarter.
Again the Storm rolled off a run and got out to a 27-20 edge after the first.
In the second, the Storm had the better energy and earned a 49-33 lead before the Hurricanes found their legs and cut the lead to 51-41 at halftime.
Jahii Carson had 18 points at the half and finished with 28 points and a team-high seven assists.
The Storm kept a decent distance from Halifax in the third, while contesting virtually every shot especially in the paint where Halifax has size edge.
For Storm forward Tirrell Baines that was where his squad earned the win, although it was out-rebounded 51-47 overall.
“It was good defence. We rebounded as a team,” said Baines, who finished with 16 points. “We get everybody working together we can be very dangerous.”
In the fourth quarter, despite the best efforts of Renaldo Dixon, who in a minute and half late in the game drained eight straight point and cut the Storm lead to four, and Billy White’s 20 points overall, the Hurricanes couldn’t overcome the deficit.
Rashad Whack and AJ Stewart each had 12 points for the Storm.
Antoine Mason chipped in 14 points for Halifax, while White grabbed a game-high 13 rebounds. Dixon nabbed 10 boards.
Clifford Clinkscales dished out a game-high 11 assists and added 13 points.
Game 5 is Monday in Halifax. Game time is 2 p.m.
A look at Thursday's National Basketball League of Canada playoff game at Eastlink Centre:
The Outcome - Island Storm 103 Halifax 96
Top Three Scorers - Halifax: Renaldo Dixon, 28, BillyWhite, 20, Antoine Mason, 14; Island Storm: Jahii Carson, 28, Tirrell Baines, 16, AJ Stewart, Rashad Whack, 12.
Top Three Rebounders - Halifax: Billy White, 13, Renaldo Dixon, 10, Tyrone Watson, 6; Island Storm: Tirrell Baines, 7, Jahii Carson, 6, Al Richter, Akeem Ellis, 5.
Three-Point Shooter - Halifax: Renaldo Dixon, 5-for-7; Island Storm: Jahii Carson, 3-for-6.
Most Assists - Halifax: Clifford Clinkscales, 11; Island Storm: Jahii Carson, 7.
Free Throws - Halifax: Billy White, 7-for-8; Island Storm: Tirrell Baines, 6-for-7.
Score By Quarter - Halifax: 20, 21, 27, 28, 96; Island Storm: 27, 24, 21, 31, 103.
Next Up - Game 4 in the best-of-seven Atlantic Division final is Saturday. Game time is 7 p.m. at Eastlink Centre.
50-50 Draw - $792.50.