The Bambitious Nara made history on Saturday afternoon, picking up the first-year franchise’s first-ever victory, an 87-75 triumph over the host Kyoto Hannaryz.
Strong shooting from 3-point range (9-for-18) and at the free-throw line (20-for-23) keyed the win for Nara (1-8).
Joe Chapman paced the Bambitious with 23 points, including three 3-pointers, and Jamar Abrams added 22 points and drained 4 of 6 3s. Point guard Tatsuya Suzuki dished out 10 assists for coach Koto Toyama’s club.
Adrian Moss, who played on the 2005-06 University of Florida squad that won the NCAA title along with Al Horford, Joakim Noah and Corey Brewer, among others, scored 15 points for Nara, which led 38-33 at halftime in the bj-league series opener. Anthony Brown finished with 12 points.
Kyoto (5-4) dropped its fourth straight game.
Ex-Washington Wizard Edwin Ubiles scored a game-high 31 points for the Hannaryz. He converted 13 of 20 shots from inside the arc. Joe Warner added 12 points and seven rebounds and Shun Watanuki poured in 11 points. Chris Holm had eight points and pulled down 10 rebounds.
Northern Happinets 78, 89ers 73
In Akita, the hosts edged Sendai and improved to a league-best 11-0.
The 89ers slipped to 3-8 under first-year coach Shuto Kawachi.
Richard Roby scored a team-high 25 points for the Happinets, who got 10 points and 17 rebounds from center Chas McFarland. Yuki Togashi added 18 points and dished out eight assists.
Travele Jones led Sendai with 28 points, 13 rebounds and seven assists and Wendell White had a 13-point effort.
The 89ers shot 26-for-76 from the field.
Phoenix 70, Susanoo Magic 59
In Matsue, Shimane Prefecture, Hamamatsu Higashimikawa rolled past the hosts and extended its winning streak to four games.
The Phoenix (7-4) have won six of their last seven games.
Jermaine Dixon was the Phoenix’s top scorer with 19 points and knocked down 4 of 5 3s. Deshawn Stephens and Ray Nixon had 13 points apiece.
Hamamatsu collected 11 steals.
Thomas Kennedy led Shimane (1-8) with 17 points. Jeral Davis had 12 points, 12 rebounds and four blocked shots and Kouki Yabuuchi had 10 points.
Big Bulls 86, Evessa 71
In Ninohe, Iwate Prefecture, Scootie Randall scored 25 points in his Big Bulls debut in a rout over Osaka.
Gyno Pomare added 15 points and 13 rebounds for Iwate (5-4) and Lawrence Blackledge finished with 13 points and 13 boards. Teammate Josh Peppers scored 11 points and Kenichi Takahashi had nine.
Kevin Galloway paced the Evessa (6-3) with 19 points and Dillion Sneed had 14.
Osaka was 10-for-20 at the free-throw line.
Albirex BB 80, B-Corsairs 73
In Niigata, Nile Murry scored a team-high 21 points and dished out six assists as the hosts triumphed in the series opener in a rematch of teams that squared off in the Final Four in May.
Defending champion Yokohama slipped to 5-4. The Albirex, who improved to 7-4, had assists on 20 of 28 field goals.
Forward Suleiman Braimoh scored 16 points in his third game in a Niigata uniform.
Marquise Gray had 25 points and 14 rebounds for the B-Corsairs and Masayuki Kabaya added 13 points with three steals. Wayne Marshall finished with 12 points and seven boards.
Brave Warriors 94, Wat’s 81
In Chikuma, Nagano Prefecture, Shota Konno had 21 points and Patrick Sanders supplied 16 as Shinshu put an end to Aomori’s four-game winning streak.
Konno is averaging a career-high 16.3 points per game.
Five players scored in double figures for the Brave Warriors (5-4).
Eric May paced the Wat’s (6-5) with 17 points, Anthony Kent scored 15 and Yuki Kitamuki 14. Abdullahi Kuso had 14 rebounds for the expansion team.
HeatDevils 85, Lakestars 60
In Oita, Taishiro Shimizu’s 27-point effort sparked the HeatDevils to a runaway victory over Western Conference rival Shiga.
Shimizu sank 5 of 6 3-pointers to help Oita improve to 4-5. Gabe McCulley added 19 points and 11 rebounds for the victors.
Brandon Fields had 12 points for Shiga (6-3) and Dionisio Gomez and Marshall Brown both scored 11.
Grouses 83, Crane Thunders 72
In Kiryu, Gunma Prefecture, Ira Brown made a major impact for Toyama — 16 points, 14 rebounds, two assists, two steals and two blocked shots — and Josh Gross matched his teammate’s scoring output against the struggling Crane Thunders.
Masashi Joho scored 13 points for the Grouses (8-1) and Takeshi Mito registered five assists.
Marvell Waithe led Gunma (1-8) with 21 points and 14 rebounds.