Esh Group Eagles Newcastle 108 (27, 52, 74) (Defoe 26, Chapman 18, Fletcher 14)
Manchester Giants 85 (11, 41, 66) (Bankevics 22, Jones 20, Gill 17)
Reigning champions Esh Group Eagles Newcastle held off a spirited Manchester Giants 108-85 at Sport Central on Friday to extend their unbeaten start to the BBL Championship season to 12 games.
Fab Flournoy’s side had beaten the Manchester club by 38 points less than two weeks ago and a similar pattern was established when they jumped out to a 10-0 start.
But behind the three-pronged attack of Cal Jones, Stef Gill and Ingus Bankevics, the visitors hit back to pull within five points late in the third quarter.
Drew Lasker immediately responded with a three-pointer, however, sparking 19-9 run as Eagles turned up the intensity, hitting three figures for the fifth time in a row against Giants.
Darius Defoe produced a typically dominant performance, going for 26 points off 11-of-14 shooting to go with 11 rebounds.
Joe Chapman, Andrew Thomson, Charles Smith, Drew Lasker and Rahmon Fletcher also scored in double figures in another terrifically balanced offensively display.
Bankevics led Manchester with 22 points while Jones had a 20-point, 17-rebound double-double.
The result means Giants have now won just one of their last 12 games, with only Plymouth Raiders below them in the table, while Eagles are in action against at Glasgow Rocks on Sunday.