Forward Gabe Freeman had 17 points and 13 rebounds to lead the London Lightning to an 86-83 victory over the Halifax Rainmen on Sunday in Game 1 of the National Basketball League of Canada's championship series.
Guard Eddie Smith had 16 points, six assists and four rebounds for London (28-8), which will host the second game of the five-game series on Tuesday. Tim Ellis added 15 points and nine rebounds in the Lightning's win.
Chris Hagen scored 23 points for Halifax (23-13) in just 29 minutes of play. Tyrone Levett had 13 points and pulled down 12 boards for the Rainmen.
London and Halifax had the two best regular-season records in the inaugural campaign of the NBL.
The Rainmen beat the Quebec Kebs in a best-of-three semi-final, while the Lightning dispatched the Saint John Mill Rats in the earlier round.