BBL: London Lions 96 Newcastle Eagles 78
PUBLISHED: 17:24 24 November 2018 | UPDATED: 17:24 24 November 2018
London Lions extended their lead at the top of the BBL Championship after beating the Esh Group Eagles Newcastle at the Copper Box Arena.
The Lions now move to 9-1 after inflicting a third league loss on the second-placed Eagles with both teams with another game to play this weekend.
The hosts came out roaring as they forced a quick timeout from their visitors on the back of a 7-0 run.
Justin Robinson and Brandon Peel kept the scoreboard moving as, surprisingly, the Eagles’ big men Victor Moses and Darius Defoe started hitting three pointers and the first quarter ended 24-24.
The Eagles carried on with more long-range shooting before Ladarius Tabb had Lions up by seven points.
But another three-point barrage tied the game for the Eagles at 51-51 going into the half time break.
The Eagles’ big men had made five three-pointers between them as their side were 9 for 17 at that range but Lions coach Vince Macaulay was happy for his side to let the big men shoot, as they instead concentrated on winning the battle on the boards.
Another blistering quarter saw Eagles’ Rahmon Fletcher show his class as he nailed long-range points and Defoe added another three, while for the home side, Flo Larkai was dunking his way to 12 points in the key.
Again it was the home side who edged ahead on the back of Andre Lockhart’s electric inclusion to lead by seven at the final break.
In the fourth quarter, the Lions were rampant, with big guns Robinson, Peel and Bristol on the bench and Spencer and Lockhart orchestrating an offensive clinic whilst the defence locked the Eagles down to only nine points.
The game was capped off with a spectacular windmill dunk from Tabb as the Lions claimed victory by an 18-point margin.
The Lions out-rebounded their opponents 52-37 and benefited with 24 points off turnovers, while Newcastle’s hot three-point shooting in the first half cooled.
Tabb had a huge game for the Lions with a 30-point haul along with 14 rebounds as well as adding four assists and four steals, with four other team-mates in double figures, including Jordan Spencer, who handed out 11 assists.
Lions: Tabb 30, Robinson 17, Larkai 12, Peel 11, Spencer 10, Bristol 7, Lockhart 6, Guede 3, Okoro 0, Ikhinmwin, James.