Newcastle Eagles slipped to their third successive defeat at Sport Central, as they were beaten 94-100 by Surrey Heat.
The loss means that the Eagles must win all of their remaining games this season to retain the BBL Championship crown.
After an explosive start by the visitors, Newcastle trailed Surrey by 21 points during the second period, but 16 unanswered points in the fourth quarter cut the deficit to just a single point with five minutes remaining.
But, when Charles Smith missed the chance to level up the match at 83-84, Surrey rallied to secure a four point victory that infuriated Eagles player/coach Fabulous Flournoy.
Flournoy said "I'm literally foaming at the mouth after the game, I can't ever remember a time when we've previously lost three games on-the-trot at home.
"It's disappointing and it's soul destroying for both the team and for myself, someone who considers himself a defence-orientated coach."
Point-guard Damon Huffman made his return from injury on the night, but the Eagles might have lost another player from their roster, after guard Joe Chapman suffered an ankle problem that saw him leave the court temporarily to receive treatment.
Next up for the Eagles are fourth-placed Plymouth Raiders, who make the long trip north to Sport Central on Friday March 15.