Matt Lottich and the Osaka Evessa won their 20th game of the season on Saturday, beating the visiting Saitama Broncos 81-70.
Lottich scored a game-high 32 points and added eight rebounds and seven assists as the two-time champion Evessa improved to 20-5, the best record in the bj-league. Mikey Marshall (18 points), Jeff Newton (17) and Kazuya Hatano (10) rounded out the double-digit scoring for Kensaku Tennichi’s first-place club.
Mamadou Diouf and James Davis scored 15 points apiece and Gordon James had a 14-point, 19-rebound effort for the Broncos (13-12). Also Saturday, the host Takamatsu Five Arrows topped the Tokyo Apache 115-106.
The Five Arrows (16-9) outscored the Apache (14-11) 37-20 in the second quarter. There was an eight-point margin in the other three quarters.
Steven Horne’s 23 points led the Five Arrows and Reggie Warren had his customary double-double (19 points, 13 boards).
For Tokyo, Cohey Aoki scored 30, while Nick Davis had 23 points and 25 rebounds.
The Sendai 89ers bounced back from a Friday loss, edging the host Rizing Fukuoka 87-83. Sendai’s Bobby St. Preux led all players with 36 points.
The 89ers improved to 19-7. Fukuoka, led by Michael Parker’s 28 points and Joshua Peppers’ 26, fell to 9-17.
The Oita HeatDevils (11-14) defeated the host Niigata Albirex BB 73-72, getting 22 points from Andy Ellis, 19 from Jason Braxton and 18 from Justin Allen, and Tsubasa Yonamine dished out six assists.
Matt Garrison and Andre Smith had 19-point games for the Albirex (16-11). The Ryukyu Golden Kings, meanwhile, recorded a 109-85 win over the Toyama Grouses.
Danny Jones had a team-best 26 points for the Golden Kings (6-19), who scored 64 second-half points, and Eric Walton (21 points, 10 boards) and Kenya Tomori (seven points, five rebounds, six assists) also made key contributions. For Toyama (4-23), Robby Joyner had 25 points.