The Giants could not quite get the better of BBL leaders London Lions – despite a herculean effort from big man Willie Clayton.

The American forward powered to yet another double double with 29 points and 23 rebounds – and dished out five assists in a relentless performance the Lions could not contain.

It gave him an efficiency rating of 47, the most by a Giants player in the six seasons since their return to the BBL.

But if Clayton’s showing was hot, the Giants’ three-point shooting wasn’t, with just two of 21 efforts from beyond the arc hitting home.

Just a slight improvement on that team stat would have given Danny Byrne’s men a chance of claiming another big scalp following their win over champions Leicester on Sunday.

The coach, however, was delighted with another fighting effort from his players.

“I can’t fault our players’ effort, commitment and desire,” he said. “We defended a team with a much deeper bench and much deeper pockets than ours very well.

“Willie was fantastic and we stuck together and played some good basketball. A bit of luck and some calls going our way, and it might have been a different story.”

Valko Granic was another solid performer with 16 points, while Callum Jones (15) and Mike McCall (11 and nine assists) also contributed to the scoring.

The Giants’ early 11-point lead was turned into a five-point deficit (46-41) by half-time and, though the home team chipped it away to just three at one point late in the game, the visitors held out with Great Britain guard Justin Robinson leading them with 21 points.

The Giants, ninth in the table with a 4/6 record, can take some positives from the clash into their trip to an improved Sheffield Sharks on Sunday.