Despite leading scorer Shigeyuki Kinjo’s absence from the lineup in the Ryukyu Golden Kings’ weekend series against the Shiga Lakestars, the bj-league’s defending champions racked up a pair of road wins.
On Sunday, Anthony McHenry made the game-winning basket with 4 seconds left in overtime as Ryukyu earned a 76-75 triumph.
The Golden Kings improved to 11-3, the best record in the Western Conference, on a day when Jeff Newton’s 25-point, eight-rebound performance set the tone.
Guard Yosuke Sugawara, receiving additional playing time in Kinjo’s absence, had 14 points on 6-for-10 shooting and six steals. George Leach added 11 points and nine boards and McHenry had 11 points and six rebounds.
Point guard Tsubasa Yonamine chipped in with six points, five rebounds and four assists. He had his sixth zero-turnover game of the season; now he has 43 assists and 12 turnovers.
Masashi Joho, who finished with 17 points, gave Shiga a 63-58 lead on a basket with 2:46 remaining in the fourth quarter. But Sugawara’s 3-pointer tied it at 63-63 with 1:27 to play. Shiga forward Gary Hamilton’s basket with 5 seconds left tied it at 67-67 and forced overtime.
In the bonus period, Joho’s 3-pointer stretched the Lakestars’ lead to 75-71 with 22 seconds remaining.
Ryukyu rallied, pulling within 75-74 on Newton’s pair of free throws with 11 seconds left. Seconds later, McHenry came through with the game-winning shot.
Mike Hall paced Shiga (8-10) with 24 points. Hamilton corralled 16 rebounds, Bobby Nash added eight points and point guard Takamichi Fujiwara had six points and four assists in his second game after missing eight contests with a shoulder injury.
Also Sunday, the Hamamatsu Higashimikawa Phoenix defeated the visiting Osaka Evessa 82-68.
Wendell White had 23 points and 15 rebounds for the Phoenix (14-2). Limar Wilson added 18 points, six assists and five steals, while Masahiro Oguchi contributed 15 points, including 3-for-5 from 3-point range. William Knight had a 12-point effort for the Eastern Conference’s top team, which is 11-1 against conference foes.
For Osaka (8-8), Nile Murry was the top scorer with 19 points. Ryan Blackwell added 16 points, eight rebounds and five assists and Shota Konno scored 12. Two-time MVP Lynn Washington had three points and five boards in 27 minutes. He was 0-for-3 from the field, 3-for-6 at the line and picked up four fouls in an uncharacteristically quiet game.
Michael Parker scored 24 points and pulled down 15 rebounds in the Rizing Fukuoka’s 84-73 road win over the Takamatsu Five Arrows.
Tsuyoshi Kawazura and Marlyn Bryant poured in 16 points apiece as Fukuoka (11-7) earned a series split. Thiago Cordeiro had 12 points and seven boards and Isaiah Fox had nine points, nine rebounds, three assists, one steal and one block in 24 minutes.
Satoshi Takeda paced the Five Arrows with 20 points. He was 8-for-8 from the charity stripe.
Antoine Broxsie added 16 points and 20 boards for Takamatsu (6-12), Terrance Farley had 18 points and eight rebounds and Yu Okada scored 15. Point guard Michael Gardener didn’t play.
Ricky Woods’ 35 points led the host Oita HeatDevils to an 82-55 shellacking of the Toyama Grouses and a weekend sweep.
Woods also pounded the boards for 12 rebounds and 213-cm teammate Rashaad Singleton, an imposing force at center, supplied 12 points, 16 rebounds and seven blocks as Oita improved to 7-9.
Forward Mike Bell added 16 points and point guard Matt Lottich had a 15-point, six-rebound, three-steal performance in his second game in a HeatDevils uniform. Masahiro Ohara dished out five assists in the well-rounded win.