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Golden Kings show guts in hard-nosed win over Phoenix

by Ed Odeven

Staff Writer

Rebounding is all about desire, technique, hustle and even a few lucky bounces here and there.

And a 19-rebound game is also about basketball IQ, which is something Ryukyu Golden Kings big man Jeff Newton has a lot of.

A five-time champion in the bj-league — more titles than any player in league history — Newton has displayed a desire to win and a hunger to rebound like nothing else matters throughout his brilliant pro career. So there he was on Saturday night in Toyohashi, Aichi Prefecture, pulling in 19 rebounds and producing a 13-point performance as Ryukyu rebounded from a two-game sweep against the Shimane Susanoo Magic last weekend by beating host Hamamatsu Higashimikawa Phoenix 87-84 before 2,511 spectators.

The defending champion Golden Kings improved to 25-8, getting 22 points from Terrance Woodbury, 18 from Naoto Kosuge, who drained 5 of 11 3s, and 15 from Anthony McHenry.

McHenry also finished with eight rebounds, six assists, two steals and a block. All-Star point guard Narito Namizato scored 13 points and handed out eight assists. As a team, Ryukyu moved the ball efficiently against Hamamatsu’s defense, picking up 27 assists on the night.

Wendell White was the top scorer for the Phoenix (23-14), who finished runnerup to the Kings in the championship game last May. Kevin Galloway had 13 points and Jeffrey Parmer added 12.

Hannaryz 67, Evessa 63

In Muko, Kyoto Prefecture, Osaka dropped its third consecutive game under new coach Bill Cartwright, failing to make crucial plays down the stretch in the fourth quarter against the Hannaryz.

Marcus Cousin led the Hannaryz (19-16) with 19 points and 10 rebounds and David Palmer had a 12-point outing. Masaharu Kataoka scored 11. Yu Okada contributed eight points.

“Our players had been so patient until the game was over,” Kyoto coach Honoo Hamaguchi said. “In the first half, they played good transition offense, but in the second half we were able to stop it, so it was really big for us.”

The Hannaryz had 24 fourth-quarter points and held the Evessa to 16 to seal the win.

“We should’ve won the last three games (including tonight’s), but we lost,” said Cartwright, a former Chicago Bulls head coach. “We played really good defensively, but when they really pressed us hard in the fourth quarter, our offense did not work and could not score.

“In the fourth quarter, the pressure mounts, and we’ve to make plays,” he added.

Cartwright, who was hired on Jan. 20, sees his team making progress, but knows there’s important work still ahead.

“Our team, we’ve have played really hard, but now it’s time to play smart…,” he said.

“…I feel that we are better than this,” the coach added. “So I am going to put pressure on my players (to play better).

“We’re going to come out here tomorrow and face the same exact situation, and when the pressure mounts, hopefully the result will be different.”

Mike Bell notched a double-double (13 points, 14 rebounds) for the Evessa (9-24) and Dwayne Lathan had 12 points. Shun Watanuki and Nathan Walkup each scored 10 points.

Osaka turned the ball over 21 times. Big man Rick Rickert fouled out with six points and 10 rebounds.

Northern Happinets 78, Jets 75

In Urayasu, Chiba Prefecture, Akita took an 18-point lead into the locker room at halftime and held off the hosts’ spirited comeback in the final two quarters.

Marshall Brown paced the Happinets (18-15) with 26 points on 10-for-17 shooting, including 3-for-5 from 3-point range, and raked in nine rebounds and handed out seven assists. Former Michigan Wolverine Dion Harris added 13 points and Anthony Kent had 12 with 11 boards. Newcomer Mike Anderson scored 10 points, Kazuhiro Shoji had eight and rookie point guard Yuki Togashi finished with six assist and two steals on a day when he was 0-for-7 from the field for zero points.

Marquin Chandler scored 32 points and pulled down 14 rebounds for Chiba (18-15) and Joe Werner added 18 points and 14 boards. D’Andre Bell chipped in with 12 points for the Jets, who were 1-for-13 from beyond the arc. Kensuke Tanaka, who had a seven-point afternoon, supplied nine assists to his teammates.

Susanoo Magic 80, HeatDevils 61

In Usa, Oita Prefecture, B.J. Puckett scored 17 points on 7-for-10 shooting and four teammates also reached double figures in scoring as Shimane hammered the hapless HeatDevils.

Michael Parker added 15 points, six boards and four steals and Jeral Davis had 11 points and six blocks in just under 20 minutes of playing time. Brandon Freeman poured in 13 points and Edward Yamamoto had 10.

The Susanoo Magic (24-11) won their fifth straight game.

Thomas Granado was Oita’s top scorer with 14 points.

The HeatDevils fell to 11-24, 2-20 over their past 22 games.

Brave Warriors 70, Cinq Reves 62

In Tokyo, Takanori Goya, Jermaine Green, Yosuke Saito and Edward Morris all had 12 points apiece as Shinshu prevailed in the series opener.

Jonathan Jones scored a game-high 27 points for the Cinq Reves (11-22). Ricky Woods had 12 points, 15 rebounds and eight turnovers. Cohey Aoki was held to six points on 2-for-7 shooting.

Tokyo was 26-for-78 from the field.

The Brave Warriors improved to 16-19.

Albirex BB 87, Grouses 62

In Joetsu, Niigata Prefecture, Kimitake Sato knocked down all five of his 3-point attempts en route to 18 points and Chris Holm provided 15 points and 20 rebounds for the hosts in a lopsided win over Toyama.

Rodney Webb added 17 points, 11 rebounds and two blocks for the Albirex (26-9). Shuhei Komatsu was 3-for-5 on 3s for nine points; Niigata made 8 of 13 3s, and finished with 23 assists.

For the Grouses (22-13), Ira Brown had 13 points, nine rebounds and five steals and Masashi Joho and Jeremy Jacob each scored 12 points.

Toyama shot 24-for-79 from the field.

Rizing 99, Shining Suns 60

In Fukuoka, the Rizing jumped out to a 26-8 lead after one quarter and mauled Miyazaki.

Reggie Warren had 18 points and 12 rebounds for Fukuoka (23-12), Justin Johnson scored 17, Masahiro Kano had 12 and Josh Peppers 10. Jun Nakanishi added eight points in 19-plus minutes as coach Atsushi Kanazawa rested his starters in the rout.

Kano had five steals. Peppers grabbed 13 rebounds and made a team-high five assists.

Abdullahi Kuso scored 17 points with 12 boards for the Shining Suns (5-30).

Big Bulls 92, B-Corsairs 68
In Takizawa, Iwate Prefecture, frontcourt mates Reggie Okosa and Dillion Sneed combined for 50 points and 38 rebounds as the Big Bulls dictated the action in an impressive triumph over Yokohama.

Okosa finished with 28 points, 23 rebounds, five assists, two blocks and one steal for Iwate (24-11) and Sneed had 22 points and 12 boards. Ex-Sendai 89er Kenichi Takahashi poured in 15 points with five assists and newcomer Naoto Takushi scored 11 points.

The B-Corsairs trailed by 15 points after one quarter, by 17 entering the final stanza.

Draelon Burns led Yokohama (24-9) with 17 points, Masayuki Kabaya had 13 and Thomas Kennedy 12. Poor 3-point shooting (8-for-35) was a key factor in the loss. Also, Iwate took 31 free-throw attempts to Yokohama’s 12. In addition, the Big Bulls dominated on the boards, pulling down 57 rebounds to the B-Corsairs’ 37.

Lakestars 102, Five Arrows 71
In Takamatsu, led by Ray Nixon’s 32-point effort, Shiga’s high-octane offense produced 48 first-half points and stayed hot throughout the game.

Nixon flushed 8 of 12 3s, a game after erupting for 33 against Kyoto last Sunday. He chipped in with five assists in the blowout win. Shelton Colwell scored 16 points and Daiki Terashita and Dionisio Gomez each had 15 for Shiga. Yutaka Yokoe, a promising 23-year-old point guard, added seven points and seven assists off the bench.

The Lakestars improved to 22-13 and extended their winning streak to three games.

The Five Arrows slipped to 13-22.

Dexter Lyons was Takamatsu’s high scorer with 15 points.

Dire straits: Former Tokyo Apache center Robert Swift, who also played for the Seattle SuperSonics and Oklahoma City Thunder, is facing big financial problems, Yahoo Sports reported on its Ball Don’t Lie blog.

The headline — “Robert Swift is refusing to abandon his bullet-ridden, beer can-strewn foreclosed house” — succinctly summarizes Swift’s situation in Sammamish, Washington, near Seattle.

The 27-year-old Swift’s career earnings were about $11.5 million, the report stated, citing Basketball-reference.com figures. He was chosen as the No. 12 overall pick in the 2004 NBA Draft by the SuperSonics. He went straight to the NBA after high school.

“His house was recently foreclosed … and the new owner would like Swift to abandon the property,” Yahoo reported. “Swift, according to the television station KOMO (via Deadspin) isn’t going anywhere.”

In the Yahoo article, KOMO is quoted as saying, “The new owner has gone to court and, according to records, Swift has gone past his grace period to leave. He has one final deadline at the end of the month. After that, he faces possible eviction by force.”

The Associated Press reported that Swift purchased the four-bedroom, 576-square meter (6,200-square foot) home in 2006, and its value was $1.3 million at the time.

In July 2012, Swift “owed $1 million on the house,” AP reported, citing the foreclosure notice.