Four fewer turnovers and five more 3-pointers helped seal the Hamamatsu Higashimikawa Phoenix’s 71-65 road victory for the Oita HeatDevils on Friday night.
Jermaine Dixon led the Phoenix (11-8) with 17 points and shared the team lead in assists (four) with Masahiro Oguchi.
Deshawn Stephens scored 14 points, Cyrus Tate had 12, Aki Chambers netted 11 and Ray Nixon eight, including two 3s. Chambers collected four of his team’s 10 steals.
Oita (11-8) shot 1-for-15 from beyond the arc. Hamamatsu was 6-for-18.
The Phoenix committed 12 turnovers, while the HeatDevils had 16 in Bungo-ono, Oita Prefecture, in the bj-league series opener.
HeatDevils guard Verdell Jones III had team-high totals in points (21), assists (seven) and steals (three). Devonne Giles added 17 points and 13 rebounds (eight offensive) and Shuichi Takada scored 10 points. Taishiro Shimizu had seven points on 3-for-12 shooting.
Returning to Yokohama: Guard/forward Marcus Simmons, who played for the Yokohama B-Corsairs in the 2011-12 season, has signed a contract and will join the team for the weekend series against the host Akita Northern Happinets, the B-Corsairs announced on Friday.
The 25-year-old Simmons, a USC alum, was the 2010-11 Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Year. After leaving the B-Corsairs following the team’s inaugural season, he was released by the NBA Development League’s Canton Charge in November 2012.
Roster moves in Aomori: The Aomori Wat’s have acquired 203-cm big man Stanley Ocitti and parted ways with forward Lamar Roberson.
Roberson, a University of Louisiana at Lafayette product, averaged 11.0 points in four games for the Wat’s (8-10), and also suited up for the Niigata Albirex BB for two games earlier this season.
The 33-year-old Ocitti has previously played for the Phoenix and Happinets.