BBL Championship
London Lions 84 (26,51,75) (Ikhninmwin 14, Watt 13, Lewis/J Williams 11)
Esh Group Eagles Newcastle 93 (23,44,73) (Smith/Martin 21, Fletcher 17)
Esh Group Eagles Newcastle survived a scare before coming back to defeat London Lions 93-84 at the Copper Box Arena.
The Eagles were down 11 late in the first half, but turned on the style in the second half to set up a huge clash with Leicester Riders next week as the title will be decided on the final weekend of the season.
Charles Smith finished with 21 points and 14 rebounds with Scott Martin also netting 21 points, while Rahmon Fletcher dished out nine assists to go with 17 points with all five starters reaching double figures.
The Lions edged ahead in a fast-paced opening quarter and pushed on in the second to establish a double-digit advantage. When Olumide Oyedeji converted a three-point play late in the period, the Lions led by 11 at 51-40.
Newcastle began mounting their fightback with a strong finish to the half and they took the lead early in the third on a three from Joe Chapman in the midst of a 14-4 run. The Lions responded with three triples late on to take a 75-73 advantage into the fourth.
The home side had their last lead at 77-76 as the Eagles went on a 12-1 run to take control and they never looked back. The Lions closed within four with back-to-back three’s but Newcastle held on to improve to 28-3.
Despite the defeat, the Lions have booked their place in the Play-Offs.