It’s safe to assume that Jeff Newton will never forget Nov. 22, 2008. After all, it was the night he scored 40 points, grabbed 30 rebounds and played 48 exhausting minutes in the Ryukyu Golden Kings’ 108-105 double-overtime win over the Sendai 89ers.
Things didn’t get much easier for Newton’s squad on Sunday.
Host Ryukyu edged Sendai 87-84, a game in which Newton scored 17 points, hauled in 16 boards and played all 40 minutes.
Now it’s time for Newton to get some well-deserved rest before the two-game series against the Tokyo Apache next weekend at Ariake Colosseum.
This much we know: The 11-1 Golden Kings needed every gram of Newton’s strength to secure the two-game sweep, especially in the series’ epic opener.
How rare are 40-point, 30-rebound games?
Almost non-existent nowadays at all levels of basketball. What’s more, the now-retired Dikembe Mutombo, who played for the Houston Rockets last season, but began this season still listed as an active player, is the last NBA player to come close to the feat (he had a 39-point, 31-rebound game in 1996), according to the 2008-09 NBA Official Register.
Shigeyuki Kinjo paced Ryukyu with 21 points in Sunday’s win, while Chris Ayer added 17 points and Naoto Takushi had 13 and dished out 10 assists.
Bobby St. Preux finished with 29 points to lead the 89ers (6-6). Chris Holm, who scored 35 in the series opener, had an 18-point, 18-rebound effort.
Also Sunday, the Saitama Broncos defeated the visiting Oita HeatDevils 65-63.
Saitama (7-5) held Oita to less than 20 points in each of the first three quarters.
Reggie Warren was the Broncos’ top scorer with 21 points. He also had 15 rebounds. Antoine Broxsie added 10 points, nine rebounds and nine blocks, and Taishiro Shimizu finished with eight assists.
For the HeatDevils (2-10), Jeffrey Price posted a double-double (24 points, 13 rebounds).
The Shiga Lakestars picked up their second road win in as many games against the Niigata Albirex BB, earning a 71-69 victory.
Ryan Rourke led Shiga with 21 points, followed by Ray Schafer’s 17, Brayden Billbe’s 12 and Bobby Nash’s 10. Takamichi Fujiwara ran the offense from the point, handing out eight assists in 29 busy minutes.
With the win, the Lakestars improved to 6-6 on a day when they shot 8-for-16 from the free-throw line.
Dokun Akingbade had a strong all-around game for Niigata, finishing with 18 points and a team-high 12 boards, followed by Akitomo Takeno’s 17 points and Yuichi Ikeda’s 13.
The rebuilding Albirex dropped to 4-8.
Forward Rodney Webb scored 29 points and cleared 11 rebounds and frontcourt mate Terrence Woodyard contributed 21 points and 14 boards in the Toyama Grouses’ 91-77 win over the Rizing Fukuoka.
For the Grouses (3-7), Babacar Camara chipped in with 14 points and Haruhito Shishito added 12 points and seven assists.
Michael Parker had 38 points for Fukuoka (4-8).
Tokyo Apache point guard Darin Satoshi Maki is Tuesday’s special guest for The Japan Times’ online sports chat from noon to 1 p.m. (Japan time). Visit www.japantimes.co.jp/ for more information.