Leeds Force slumped to a fourth-straight defeat to start 2018, losing out 94-62 against the BBL title-chasing London Lions at Carnegie Sports Arena.
A disastrous start saw the lacklustre Leeds ripped apart by the ravenous Lions – who took to battle without reigning BBL All-Stars Championship MVP Justin Robinson.
Thirteed unanswered points to open the contest launched London into a quick-fire double-digit lead – only denied a larger scoring streak by Force skipper Isaac Mourier’s spectacular triple.
Following Leeds’ brief revival, London responded in devastating fashion – Cory Dixon’s soaring ally-oop connection breathing life into the Lions as the road side ramped up the pressure.
German star Eric Curth’s precision pass enabled Mourier to score as the buzzer sounded, bringing a hectic opening segment to a positive close with London protecting a lofty lead.
The fiery Lions powered into the second quarter with a sea of points – slicing the Leeds defence apart with American threat Brandon Peel and Joe Ikhinmwin decimating the opposition as London continued to build on their advantage.
A pair of trebles from new Force signing Jamelle Davis, who impressed on debut, energised the lifeless Leeds, not enough to prevent the unstoppable Lions exacting a painful offensive clinic.
In desperate need of a spark, Leeds guard George Brownell’s consecutive threes shifted the momentum to end the first half to ignite hopes of Force mounting an unlikely comeback.
An attacking bombardment from Peel to open the third period looked to have crushed Leeds’ resolve, the American threat being responded to however by Davis’ six-point salvo in a sensational offensive showdown.
A series of strong finishes from London kept the resurgent Force at bay – the away side turning the screw defensively with the daunting Dixon swatting away Appleyard’s close-range attempt.
A back-breaking triple from Momcilo Latinovic prised open a 20-point London lead with the ruthless Lions in cruise control as Leeds’ losing start to 2018 continued.