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League champions London Lions ended Seriös Group Newcastle Eagles’ campaign in ruthless fashion with a second big win inside 48 hours.

The men in black were faced with a mountain to climb following Friday’s 106-75 homecourt loss in game one of this season’s playoff semi-final series.

And despite a battling display in the capital, Newcastle went down 94-81 in game two — losing their final shot at silverware in the process.

Much like Friday, the Eagles started off strongly against a London side widely expected to add Sunday’s playoff crown to their Championship title.

And this time Newcastle managed to keep the Lions keen for three quarters of the game before finally running out of steam.

Forcing 21 turnovers against Peter Božić’s side is no mean feat and yet for all of that pressure the visitors still fell short.

London won the battle of the boards 49-33 and the Eagles converted just 57 per cent of their 21 free throws.

Talismanic guard Jordan Johnson hit early foul trouble — a setback that clearly affected Newcastle’s offensive flow and scoring threat.

But the US star still bagged 23 points in just 22 minutes as he fought to the very end of a hugely successful first season in an Eagles jersey.

Fellow guards Rickey McGill and Larry Austin Jr combined for 33 points, 10 rebounds, eight assists and seven steals as the do-it-all duo stepped up in style.

Larry Austin Jr scored 19 points with 6 rebounds. (Photos: Carol Moir)

But big men Darius Defoe, Tajh Green, Malcolm Delpeche and Will Neighbour had their work cut out against a towering Lions roster.

And ultimately London’s superior size and strength in depth was the difference between the top seeds and their sixth-placed rivals.

Newcastle had played some of their most impressive basketball of the season to cruise past third-placed Caledonia Gladiators in the last eight and gain a shot at the Lions.

And few teams have taken a quarter off Božic’s men at the Copper Box Arena during the 2023/24 campaign.

When the Eagles led 20-19 after a physical first period it felt as if there was plenty of life left in this semi-final series.

And nothing separated the two teams at the half with a fascinating game two tied at 41 apiece.

London opened up a three-point lead heading into the fourth quarter and the hosts stretched out that advantage to 10 with six minutes on the clock.

It was effectively game over for a rapidly tiring Newcastle as homecourt hero Matt Morgan headed towards yet another MVP award — the league’s outstanding guard adding five assists and three rebounds to his 20 points.

And while there’s no disgrace in losing to one of Europe’s most competitive rosters, an ambitious Steutel may well wonder what might have been had he been able to work with a fully fit Eagles squad for longer.