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Kinjo lifts Golden Kings

by Ed Odeven

Shigeyuki Kinjo drained a game-winning free throw with no time left on the game clock to lead the Ryukyu Golden Kings to a dramatic 70-69 road win over the Shiga Lakestars on Saturday.

With five seconds remaining, Shiga’s Ryan Rourke missed a shot. Ryukyu’s Anthony McHenry corralled the rebound, and Kinjo, the bj-league’s top 3-point shooter, was subsequently fouled.

Kinjo stepped to the foul line and made the first of two shots to secure the victory for the Golden Kings (27-8).

Shiga led 66-65 before steady veteran Takamichi Fujiwara (16 points) drained a 3-pointer with 1:23 left in the fourth quarter.

Ryukyu closed out the game with a 5-0 spurt. McHenry scored a basket with 42 seconds left and Chris Ayer tied it at 69-69 on a pair of free throws.

Rourke had a team-high 22 points and 12 rebounds for the Lakestars (13-22) and Bobby Nash added 13 points.

For the Golden Kings, Ayer (19 points, 12 boards), Jeff Newton (17 points, 12 boards) and McHenry (13 points, 11 boards) all posted double-doubles, while Naoto Takushi scored 10.

Also Saturday, the Rizing Fukuoka ended the Takamatsu Five Arrows’ 11-game win streak, edging the visitors 96-93.

Michael Parker scored 30 points, including a pair of free throws with 15 seconds remaining, for Fukuoka (15-20). Parker was 13-for-16 from the line. Kohei Mitomo added 22 points, matching his season-best scoring effort, and the league’s top overall pick in 2006, point guard Takanori Goya, dished out a season-high 10 assists to go along with nine points.

For Takamatsu (25-10), Matt Garrison paced the squad with 23 points, followed by Babacar Camara’s 18 and Kazuyuki Nakagawa’s 17.

Elsewhere, Marcus Morrison scored a season-best 29 points, Michael Gardener poured in 25 and the Hamamatsu Higashimikawa Phoenix routed the visiting Toyama Grouses 109-82.

Hamamatsu (24-11) scored 70 combined points in the first and fourth quarters, and coach Kazuo Nakamura’s club led 38-24 after the opening period.

Sun Ming Ming added 14 points for the hosts.

Jerod Ward paced the Grouses (10-25) with 25 points.

The three-time defending champion Osaka Evessa rolled to a 90-67 win over the Oita HeatDevils.

Veteran forward Ryan Blackwell keyed the win for Osaka with a 24-point, seven-rebound, seven-assist performance, while Eric Walton scored 22 and Nile Murry 16. Jun Nakanishi dished out six assists on a night when two-time MVP Lynn Washington, the league’s second-leading scorer, had only eight points. Osaka improved to 21-14.

Jeffrey Price had 16 points to lead Oita (7-28).

Balanced scoring carried the Tokyo Apache to a 94-87 win over the host Saitama Broncos.

John Humphrey (23 points) and Cohey Aoki (20) led the way for the Apache (23-12), and underrated center Nick Davis added 14 points, 13 rebounds and a team-high seven assists.

Leading 74-70 with 7:23 to play, Tokyo used a 9-2 run to stretch its lead to double digits.

Reggie Warren had 42 points for Saitama (13-22).

Bobby St. Preux scored 25 points and Kenichi Takahashi had nine assists in the Sendai 89ers’ 103-84 triumph over the host Niigata Albirex BB.

Sendai raised its record to 17-18, while Niigata slipped to 15-20 despite 17 points from Antonio Burks and 16 from Makoto Hasegawa.