The Osaka Evessa’s fourth-quarter comeback came up short on Saturday.
The Rizing Fukuoka defeated the visiting Evessa 86-82 and ended Osaka’s 10-game winning streak.
Fukuoka had jumped out to a 74-63 lead with 5:51 to play in the fourth quarter, but Osaka steadily chipped away at the lead.
The Evessa cut it to 83-82 on the second of Jun Nakanishi’s two free throws with 24 seconds remaining.
Thiago Cordeiro put Fukuoka ahead 84-82 by draining the first of two foul shots, and Marlyn Bryant increased the margin to four by knocking down two free throws with 11 seconds left.
Osaka’s Hirohisa Takada missed a 3-pointer with 4 seconds left, but Lynn Washington grabbed the offensive rebound and quickly got the ball to Nakanishi, whose 2-point attempt was also off the mark before the final buzzer sounded.
The Western-Conference-leading Evessa fell to 28-17. The Rizing, one of the bj-league’s gutsiest teams this season, improved to 28-19.
Michael Parker and Bryant each scored 24 points. Kohei Mitomo had a crowd-pleasing, 14-point, six-assist effort and Cordeiro had a 13-point, seven-rebound performance.
Defensively, Fukuoka did a fine job of minimizing Evessa point guard Nile Murry’s impact on the game. Coming off four straight 20-point games, Murry was held to eight points.
Washington paced Osaka with 27 points and Jason Klotz chipped in with a double-double (16 points, 10 boards). Ryan Blackwell scored 10 and Nakanishi added nine and seven rebounds.
Elsewhere Saturday, Masashi Joho won a dynamic duel against fellow perimeter marksman Yu Okada and helped the visiting Shiga Lakestars earn a tough 99-94 triumph over the Takamatsu Five Arrows.
Joho scored a game-high 27 points for Shiga (25-22), Mikey Marshall and Gary Hamilton contributed 20 points apiece and Takamichi Fujiwara poured in 18.
Hamilton controlled the boards for the Lakestars, corralling 19 rebounds. Marshall pulled down eight boards.
Okada led the Five Arrows with 25 points. Michael Gardener provided 23 points, seven rebounds and six assists for coach John Neumann’s struggling squad, which fell to 12-33. Shuichi Takada scored 20 and Jeffrey Price finished with 10 points and 17 rebounds.
The Saitama Broncos, meanwhile, ended their 11-game losing streak, beating the Tokyo Apache 79-74 and earning a series split at Sumida City Gymnasium.
Taishiro Shimizu scored a team-high 17 points for the Broncos (14-32), while Kirby Lemons (14 points, 12 rebounds), Mario Jointer (13 points, 12 rebounds, seven assists), Terrence Woodyard (12 points) and Terrence Roberts (11 points, eight boards) made sizable contributions as well.
For the Apache (19-27), Julius Ashby finished with 26 points and nine rebounds, Rasheed Sparks scored 21 and Michael Chappell added 14 points, 10 rebounds and six assists.
Oddly enough, Tokyo guard Cohey Aoki failed to score a point for the second straight game. In 18 minutes on Friday, he didn’t attempt a shot. In 29 minutes on Saturday, he was 0-for-5 from the field and didn’t take any free throws. He did, however, have five assists and four steals in the rematch.
The host Hamamatsu Higashimikawa Phoenix cruised to a 90-74 victory over the Niigata Albirex BB.
William Knight paced the Phoenix (36-9) with 24 points. Wendell White chipped in with 12 points for the Eastern Conference’s first-place club, while Wayne Arnold and Masashiro Oguchi scored 11 apiece and Jermaine Green had 10.
Tyrone Levett and Uche Echefu each scored 15 points for the Albirex (22-23). Calvin Chitwood added 11 points, Paul Butorac scored 10 and Shuhei Komatsu had seven.
Josh Peppers scored 23 points and Chris Holm added 21 points and raked in 19 rebounds to lead the Sendai 89ers to an 85-79 road win over the Toyama Grouses.
Demetrius Guions added 11 points, Gyno Pomare scored eight and Hikaru Kusaka contributed seven as the 89ers improved to 31-14.
Brian Harper was Toyama’s leading scorer with 21 points, and Bilal Abdullah added 15. Four teammates had eight-point outings.
The Grouses fell to 15-30.
The Ryukyu Golden Kings overwhelmed the Kyoto Hannaryz in the second and fourth quarters en route to a 95-72 win.
Yosuke Sugawara was the top scorer for the Golden Kings, putting 22 points on the board. Tsubasa Yonamine added 20 points for the defending champions, while Anthony McHenry did a little bit of everything (11 points, seven boards, five assists). Kevin Steenberge had nine points and seven boards, Jeff Newton provided an eight-point, 13-rebound effort, fellow forward Bryan Simpson scored eight points and George Leach, reminding everyone of Ryukyu’s talented, effective frontcourt, pulled down 10 rebounds.
The Golden Kings, who outscored the hosts 62-30 in the aforementioned quarters, improved to 29-18.
Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf and Josh Bostic each scored 16 points for Kyoto (15-30), while Reda Rhalimi had 15 and Naoto Takushi added 10.