Newcastle Eagles missed out on the chance to go clear at the top of the BBL as they lost for the first time this season against the in-form Sheffield Sharks 81-86.
The Sharks resurrected memories of their famed bomb squads of seasons past by hitting 10 of 19 three-pointers. Top scorers Chris Sanders (22-points) and Matt Gorman (19-points) were both perfect from beyond the arc with four and two three-pointers respectively.
Perry Lawson, on his return to Tyneside, scored 17, including three from four treys, as the Sharks made it three consecutives wins in all competitions since losing in their first match against Everton Tigers.
Sharks opened the match with a three-point shot from Gorman and that set the tone for the match. After splitting the first quarter 26-26 Sharks made a late surge to close the half 44-49 in front.
And they maintained an advantage throughout the third period, stretching away to 57-67 before an Eagles fightback led by Lynard Stewart and Trey Moore saw the hosts lead by one until a Chris Sanders three restored Sheffield’s lead at 68-70.
The final quarter swung both ways with Eagles leading 78-77 when two Matt Gorman free throws handed the Sharks the lead for good.
Sheffield player-coach Atiba Lyons was delighted with his team’s performance and thought it helped that many of his players are new to the league: “At the moment we’re just playing each team as a team rather than on the history of what they’ve done before.
“We’re making big steps every match but we’re still gelling so there is more to come. Shooting like we did tonight certainly makes the offence a lot easier.”