Scorchers briefly led in the opening two minutes, as both sides struggled to find their range in an untidy start, but steadily Lions were resurgent and soon had their hosts at something of an arm’s length.
Tayo Ogedengbe landed a big three with time running out in Q1 but still Lions led 21-11 as Scorchers continued to lack accuracy in their finishing.
Will Atwood led by example midway through Q2, landing two scores from just inside the circle, but Lions retained a healthy advantage. When Jordan Spencer notched his second triple of the day with 2:40 left in Q2, they were ahead by 22 and, even though Scorchers reduced that to 19 by half-time, it remained a particularly steep mountain for them to climb.
To Scorchers’ credit, they largely kept pace with Lions in Q3, buoyed by strong scores from Atwood, Chaed Wellian and Quincy Taylor. They also began Q4 with plenty of fight, and Atwood nailed another three from in the corner but Scorchers will look to overall shooting accuracy as key: 21 other three-point attempts fell short and they landed just 32% of field goal attempts.
With the game won, Lions pulled away in the closing stages, to lead by 28 with 90 seconds remaining and even though the final deficit was reduced this was nonetheless a strong display from the champions elect.