Basketball: Bonds leads the Sheffield line to hold back Raiders

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The Independent Online

Jeff Bonds scored 31 points to lead the second-placed Sheffield Sharks to an 80-72 British Basketball League win over the third-placed Plymouth Raiders. Sheffield draw level with Guildford Heat at the top of the table but have played four games more.

The Sharks responded decisively each time the Raiders threatened their grip on the game. Joel Burns scored six points in an 8-0 run to open a 39-29 half-time lead, then Eddie Cage hit four points and Atiba Lyons added three in a 7-0 run to lead 61-48.

The defending champions Newcastle Eagles beat Leicester Riders 101-96, sealing the game when Shawan Robinson scored all the points in a 12-5 fourth-quarter run to lead 96-86. Robinson led with 31 points.

The longest road trip in BBL history comes to an end tonight when Plymouth return to The Pavilions to face Guildford after eight successive away games.

Plymouth's "local derby" is a 350-mile round trip to Worcester Wolves while a visit to Scottish Rocks puts nearly 1,000 miles on the clock. But the coach Gary Stronach's team have handled the marathon well, reaching the semi-finals of the BBL Trophy and joining Sheffield in chasing the league leaders Guildford.

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