Newcastle Eagles bounced back from their first defeat of 2012 with a 99-82 win against Leicester Riders in the BBL Championship.
The Eagles dominated the first two periods against their title rivals and led by 17 at halftime.
Leicester rallied after the break to bring the difference back to single figures but by the end of the third quarter the Eagles were 24 points ahead.
The fourth quarter saw an altercation between Leicester Rider’s bench and some Eagles fans, reports suggest Leicester’s Yorick Williams reacted to taunts from supporters.
On the court, the lead allowed Fab Flournoy and Dave Forrester to make changes offering an important rest for key players before the derby at Durham, and experience for the younger players.
The pacey Paul Gause top-scored at Sport Central with 28 points, Leicester’s Bradd Wierzbicki also impressed with 25.
Charles Smith was again free scoring with 21 and Andrew Thompson managed 17 points with 12 rebounds.
Elsewhere Sheffield Sharks beat Mersey Tigers 99-82 to boost their chances of making the playoffs.
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