Newcastle Eagles 96 (23,59,85) (Chapman 29, Smith 19, Defoe 16)
Airwaves Plymouth Raiders 80 (15,37,60) (Horton 18, Valencia 18, Lasker 17)
Newcastle Eagles moved to the top of the BBL table with a comfortable 96-80 home win against Airwaves Plymouth Raiders.
Eagles have a two point lead over second placed Sheffield Sharks, but have played two games more. The defeat for Raiders sees them slip below Worcester into eleventh.
An 11-2 start to the match, with Lynard Steward prominent, set the tone for a sharp Eagles performance. A Joe Chapman (pictured) three made it 21-13 and a Charles Smith two ended the first quarter 23-15 in the home team’s favour.
Chapman broke the match open with four threes as Eagles went ahead by 20 (42-22). The American had 16 points in the second quarter on his way to a game- high 29 points.
After leading 59-37 at half team Eagles continued to stretch away in the third quarter. Darius Defoe (16 points, 12 boards) was to the fore as Newcastle entered the final stanza 85-60 up.
The lead allowed Newcastle to run their bench in the fourth quarter as a Raiders side without Matt Hilleary reduced the final deficit with a 20-11 period.
Eagles January signing Flinder Boyd, who has only had two training sessions with his new club, watched from the bench but didn’t take part.