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By Dave Loveton
Director of Media Relations

Game 1 (Friday, April 18) -- Battle Creek 88, Lightning 77


Lightning misses mark in franchise debut  

 The L.A. Lightning couldn't find its shooting touch in Friday's pro basketball opener and Battle Creek (Mich.) used a big third quarter to post an 88-77 victory, spoiling the party-like atmosphere at Cal Lutheran's Gilbert Sports Arena.

 A crowd of 861 turned out for the Lightning's debut in the International Basketball League.

 Lamond Murray, an 11-year NBA veteran, scored 28 points and grabbed 12 rebounds to lead the Lightning, who trailed 57-41 at halftime. Murray hit 10-of-24 from the field and 5-11 from 3-point range but his teammates converted just 25.4 percent (17-67).

 Center Thomas Shewmake tallied nine points and 14 rebounds while Fred Vinson added 10. Shewmake (4-17) and Vinson (3-14) both struggled from the floor with Vinson hitting just 2-9 from downtown.

 Eric Smith scored 17 points for Battle Creek (2-4), leading five players in double figures. Point guard Anthony Kyle had 15 points, eight rebounds and seven assists for the Knights, who outshot the home team, 44.6 to 29.7 percent.

 The Lightning only managed two points in the first six minutes of the third quarter and the visitors stretched the margin to 22 points, 65-43. L.A. roared back, behind the long-range shooting of Murray, and pulled to within five, 76-71, on a trey by the ex-Clipper.

 L.A. cut the deficit to four points, 78-74, on a free throw by Shewmake with 6:45 remaining but the Knights regained control with an 8-3 run.