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Tokyo overwhelms Saitama in fourth quarter, completes series sweep

by Ed Odeven

Staff Writer

Despite John “Helicopter” Humphrey’s 45-point outburst, the Saitama Broncos couldn’t quell the Tokyo Cinq Reves’ momentum and spirited comeback on Wednesday night at Musashino General Gymnasium.

The result?

An 82-76 Tokyo triumph. The Broncos (2-10) suffered their seventh straight defeat in the bj-league, failing to score more than 78 points in every game during the slide.

Edward Morris paced Tokyo (4-6) with 25 points, 14 rebounds, four steals and four blocked shots. Ricky Woods added 18 points, 14 boards and eight assists along with two steals and a block. Forward Kenji Kanai had a season-high 12 points on 4-for-5 shooting, including a pair of 3-pointers.

Yuji Ide scored 10 points for the Cinq Reves, Anthony Stover had seven points, six rebounds and two blocks and Yuta Kurihara netted six points.

Saitama led 19-6 after the opening quarter and 45-26 at halftime.

But Tokyo coach Motofumi Aoki’s club found a way to stage an impressive rally over the two final quarters.

The hosts outscored Saitama 26-19 in the third quarter before a fourth-quarter annihilation saw the Broncos yield 30 points and put only 12 on the board.

Humphrey is averaging a league-high 24.8 points per game. He was 14-for-27 from the field (5-for-10 on 3-pointers) and 12-for-14 at the free-throw line. He had a 47-point effort on Oct. 13, when the Toyama Grouses handed the Broncos a 97-87 loss.

Yuki Nobuhira was Saitama’s only other double-digit scorer on Wednesday, finishing with 10 points.

The Broncos surrendered 20 offensive rebounds, 55 boards in totals. They had 11 offensive boards and 46 overall, again falling short in both areas. Michael Joiner led the Broncos with 12 rebounds.

Saitama was held to nine assists for its 29 field goals.

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The Miyazaki Shining Suns, who exited the bj-league after their third season in May, are joining the NBDL (renamed JBL2) as an expansion team for the 2014-15 campaign, it was announced on Wednesday.