NEWCASTLE Eagles moved back to the top of the BBL Championship with a comfortable 96-76 triumph over Manchester Giants.

The Eagles were in charge throughout and guard forward Charles Smith led the way with 21 points with Darius Defoe and Joe Chapman contributing 18.

The defeat was Manchester's sixth of the season and meant Stefan Gills' 23-point haul counted for little.

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Winless Mersey Tigers let a half-time lead slip as they went down 94-67 against Sheffield Sharks.

The Tigers held a 42-37 advantage at the end of the second quarter but Sheffield stormed back in the third before finishing strongly to hand their opponents an eighth league defeat from as many games.

In tonights other match, London Lions eased past Durham Wildcats 101-74.