Basketball: Smith's return boosts Newcastle

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The Independent Online

Newcastle Eagles ended a run of four British Basketball League defeats with a 91-90 victory last night over London Towers, ending a run of six wins for the Crystal Palace club as Charles Smith returned to Tyneside with a game-high 25 points.

Smith left the Eagles last summer to join Scottish Rocks, then quit the Glasgow club to spend more time with his family who remained in Newcastle.

The American's return did not disappoint Eagles fans, whose title hopes have diminished recently. From leading 84-83, Eagles and Towers traded three-pointers, until London's Terrance Simmons scored one free-throw to tie on 90-90. Andrew Sullivan scored a free-throw to give the Eagles a one-point lead before he and Smith jointly blocked Simmons' last-second attempt to save the game.

The Milton Keynes coach Nigel Lloyd, 44, re-registered as a player yesterday and scored four points as the Lions ended a run of 11 championship defeats to defeat Chester Jets 86-65.

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