London Lions 71 (James 19, Jackman 18, Sturt 13)
Newcastle Eagles 94 (Huffman 36, Maddox/Defoe 14)
The Newcastle Eagles have given themselves a cushion in second place in the BBL Championship table after beating the third-placed Surrey Heat 89-80 in the northeast. The Eagles have won five of their last six games, while it was the Heat’s first loss on the road since October.
Newcastle Eagles returned to the top of the BBL Championship table with a 94-71 victory at London Lions on Sunday evening. The Eagles now have 26 points from 15 games, putting them two points ahead of Jelson Homes DMU Leicester Riders following their loss to Raiders, though the Riders still have a game in hand. Lions meanwhile slip 1 place down the table to seventh with 7 wins in 15 games.
After a close first quarter where neither team had been able to establish dominance, the Eagles put together a 14-2 run with Damon Huffman scoring 6 of those points. That run put them up 40-26 with two minutes to go to half-time and they headed into the break up 42-28.
Darius Defoe’s 2-pointer extended that lead to 46-29 after the break but the Lions responded by putting together a 13-5 run to pull themselves within 9 points at 51-42. That was as close as the Lions would get though. Huffman scored 2 three pointers to make the score 57-44 before Huffman had 12 points and a steal in a 21-6 tear by the Eagles that put them ahead by 28 points at 85-57 with 3:38 to play. Joel Madourie twice put the Eagles ahead by 29 points with dunks in the final minutes, but the Lions were able to pull themselves a little closer as the Eagles finished 94-71 winners.
Damon Huffman ended the game with 36 points to lead all scorers, made 8/14 3-point attempts, had 6 rebounds, 5 steals and 3 assists while Eagles’ Kareem Maddox had 14 points, 17 rebounds, 4 steals and 2 blocks. Anthony Martin had 7 assists for the Eagles, while Fab Flournoy and Joe Chapman each had 6. For Lions, Duane James led their scorers with 19 points and also had 8 rebounds.