Basketball: Sullivan points haul halts fightback from Leicester

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The Independent Online

Newcastle Eagles defeated Leicester Riders 104-87 on Saturday night to draw level at the top of the British Basketball League with Scottish Rocks, after the Glasgow club were beaten 90-76 in overtime by the third-placed Sheffield Sharks.

The former Shark Justin Phoenix, who was signed by the Rocks last week, scored a three-pointer to force overtime at 71-71, but Sheffield quickly swept them aside in the extra period by scoring the first seven points and a Sterling Davis three-pointer opened an 84-74 lead. Davis led all scorers with 30 points.

Leicester trailed Newcastle 30-14 at the end of the first quarter, but a 12-0 run capped a fightback that cut the Eagles' lead down to a single point at 66-65. The Eagles had runs of 8-2 and 9-2 to open a 91-82 lead and they closed the game with a 7-0 run.

The England international Andrew Sullivan led Newcastle's scorers with a personal tally of 30 points.

Brighton Bears slumped to their second defeat in 24 hours, by 96-88, at home to Chester Jets, following Dennis Rodman's return to the United States after his three-game stint with the club. On Friday night the Bears lost 94-91 at Guildford Heat, whose protest that Brighton had included Rodman in an illegal line-up against them on 28 January led to the south coast club being deducted three league points last week.