Golden Kings remind rivals of title pedigree


The Ryukyu Golden Kings put 70 points on the board after halftime on Saturday.

It was a stirring reminder that coach Dai Oketani’s club is hungry to capture a second bj-league championship this season.

Buoyed by shooting guard Shigeyuki Kinjo’s 25-point game and team leader Jeff Newton’s 22 points, the Golden Kings cruised past the Shiga Lakestars 105-82 in Naha.

Bryan Simpson contributed 18 points, Anthony McHenry filled the stat sheet with 14 points, six rebounds and nine assists and Tsubasa Yonamine did a little bit of everything, finishing with nine points, five rebounds and seven assists for Ryukyu (2-1).

For the Lakestars (3-2), Gary Hamilton and Luke Zeller had 15 points apiece.

Also Saturday, Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf showed no rust after a two-week layoff, leading the Kyoto Hannaryz to a 105-90 road win over the Takamatsu Five Arrows.

Abdul-Rauf, a 40-year-old former NBA guard, scored 24 points, his second straight game of 20-plus points after a four-point outing in the season opener. He also dished out eight assists as the expansion Hannaryz (2-1) won their first road contest. Rookie Josh Bostic, who had 21 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists, was one of six Kyoto scorers in double figures and one of three with five or more assists in the team’s triangle offense. Taizo Kawabe supplied 16 points and five assists for the victors.

The Five Arrows (0-5) welcomed the season debut of do-it-all guard Michael Gardener (29 points, 11 rebounds, six assists), but were unable to record their first win. Yu Okada had 21 points in the loss, and big man Antoine Broxsie had seven points and five boards in his season debut.

The Sendai 89ers, meanwhile, built a 15-point cushion by the end of the first quarter and held on for an 88-84 home win over the Niigata Albirex BB.

Gyno Pomare paced the 89ers (3-0) with 26 points and 14 rebounds. Kenichi Takahashi added 25 points and nine assists, while Demetrius Guions had a 12-point, seven-rebound, seven-assist effort. Chris Holm, the league’s 2008-09 rebounding champion, pulled down 10 boards.

The Albirex (1-2), who earned a series split on the road against the Tokyo Apache earlier this week, had five double-digit scorers, including Antonio Burks (19 points), Yuichi Ikeda (18) and Akitomo Takeno (17).

William Knight’s 28-point performance, including six free throws in the final 27 seconds, lifted the Hamamatsu Higashimikawa Phoenix to a 78-74 triumph over the visiting Saitama Broncos.

Wendell White added 13 points for the Phoenix, who improved to 3-0, with those victories coming from a combined margin of 12 points.

Terrence Roberts had a double-double (19 points, 11 rebounds) and Taishiro Shimizu poured in 18 points for the Broncos, who fell to 0-3. Kazuya Hatano added 13 points in the loss.

Former University of Memphis forward Waki Williams scored a game-high 30 points in the Osaka Evessa’s 89-83 home victory over the undermanned Rizing Fukuoka.

David Palmer added 19 points for Osaka (2-1). Lynn Washington had 10 and coach Kensaku Tennichi’s club received solid contributions from several other players, including Jun Nakanishi (seven points), Nile Murry (seven assists) and Ryan Blackwell (seven assists).

Michael Parker had a team-best 32 points for Fukuoka (1-2), and teammates Richard Ford Jr. and Tsuyoshi Kawazura chipped in with 18 and 11, respectively.

The Toyama Grouses opened their season with an 82-76 victory over the visiting Apache.

Led by Makoto Kato’s 24-point outing and forward Kirby Lemons’ stalwart 22-point, 20-rebound effort, Toyama gave Charles Johnson a win in his debut as the team’s coach.

Takeshi Mito contributed 17 points and Kenya Tomori supplied seven points and six assists for the Grouses, who led 63-51 entering the final quarter.

Cohey Aoki was the top scorer (18 points) for the Apache, who slipped to 1-4. Rasheed Sparks scored 17 points in his first game in a Tokyo uniform, while Julius Ashby (11 points), Jumpei Nakama (10 points) and Nick Davis (10 points, 19 boards) kept the Apache in the hunt for a win.