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Fun timeas Fab's Eagles stirke back; PAUL NILSEN.

HIGH-FLYING Kadiri Richard produced the most breathtaking performance of his career as Newcastle Eagles claimed a 99-82 win against Milton Keynes Lions - then said he had just been 'having fun'.

In an extraordinary display of athleticism, Richard finished the game just one blocked shot away from what would have been the rarest and arguably the most impressive of any triple-double.

The reigning BBL dunk champion produced a majestic 12 points, 14 rebounds and nine blocks, missing only one shot on the night in a near-flawless performance.

"Aside from having fun, it was one of my most memorable games and probably my best, yes," explained Richard.

"It's funny because when we played Plymouth recently I told Otis Polk, who is the best shotblocker in the league, that I was coming for him so I guess those nine blocks will help me a lot.

"I just tried to bring a lot of energy to the game, especially in the first half and I think it helped us but at this stage of the season, we want to win each game."

After their controversial setback at Mersey Tigers, the Eagles didn't feel down for too long as Tigers slipped up at Leicester a mere 24 hours later, something which Richard claimed has given the Eagles an added impetus.

"Reggie (Jackson) actually predicted on the bus back from Liverpool that Tigers would lose the following night at Leicester and we all now think he is kind of like Nostradamus," Richard said.

"On a serious note, I think it highlighted just how tough things are going to be. There are some good teams in the league who can beat you on any given night.

"That is why Guildford will be difficult, but hopefully we can get the win and the 10 or so family and friends who will come up from Worthing to support me will help make it a great weekend."

While the visit to Surrey Sports Park to face Guildford will be a difficult one to negotiate tomorrow, the Eagles had better get used to it since there are no easy fixtures at this stage of the season. Fab Flournoy and his players were coasting at half-time with a 20-point lead.

Lions rallied and cut the gap to eight points at 70-62 by the end of the third quarter. However, backcourt pair Reggie Jackson and Trey Moore settled the nerves to help the hosts ease away in the last 10 minutes to finish with 42 points and 11 assists.

SCORERS - NEWCASTLE: Moore 23, Jackson 19, Smith 16. MK LIONS: Bolds 29, Nelson 19, Washington 10.

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GET IN THERE Kadiri Richard dunks one in the win over Lions
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:Mar 26, 2011
Words:446
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