The Hamamatsu Higashimikawa Phoenix remain the elite team in the bj-league’s Eastern Conference until proven otherwise.
Exhibit A: The Phoenix improved to 9-1 with a cakewalk victory — 90-60, for those keeping score at home — over the Saitama Broncos on Sunday.
Jeffrey Parmer and Wayne Arnold scored 14 points apiece for Hamamatsu, while nine other teammates also put points on the board against Saitama in Gamagori, Aichi Prefecture.
The visitors trailed 23-5 after one quarter.
Kenny Satterfield paced the Broncos (2-8) with 14 points.
For first-year coach Bob Nash’s team, the upcoming two-game series could be make-or-break time for this season. If the Broncos lose both games on Nov. 20-21, they’ll be eight games under .500 with a super steep climb to fight for a playoff spot.
Lakestars 73, Evessa 65
In Otsu, Shiga Prefecture, Mikey Marshall and Masashi Joho, a dynamic one-two punch, continue to be the catalysts of Shiga’s efficient offense, scoring 21 and 18 points, respectively, as the hosts completed a weekend sweep over Osaka.
Marshall grabbed 15 rebounds and handed out five assists as Shiga improved to 7-3 and moved into a tie for first place in the Western Conference with the Evessa. Yu Okada added 12 points and Gary Hamilton had eight points and 13 boards for the Lakestars, while Lamar Rice contributed 11 rebounds.
Lynn Washington paced the Evessa (7-3) with 17 points and 11 rebounds, Lawrence Blackledge had 14 points and Billy Knight scored 12. Wayne Marshall added 10 points and 10 boards.
Happinets 90, 89ers 86
In Sendai, Paul Butorac’s 25-point performance and Sek Henry’s 16-point, 10-assist, eight-rebound effort sparked Akita to its first victory of the season over the 89ers.
The expansion Northern Happinets (4-6) had lost their previous three games against Sendai. Antonio Burks scored 15 points and Anthony Coleman added 10 for Akita, while Ryosuke Mizumachi had nine and Makoto Sawaguchi poured in seven.
Sawaguchi, 18, earned his first start of the season.
For Sendai (6-4), Chris Holm had 25 points and 15 rebounds. Mac Hopson scored 16 points with eight assists and Mike Bell scored 13.
Grouses 65, Albirex BB 61
In Gosen, Niigata Prefecture, Makoto Kato scored 17 points and John Davis added 11 points and seven rebounds as Toyama salvaged a series split.
The Grouses improved to 4-6.
For Niigata (4-4), Julius Ashby had 15 points, five rebounds and five assists. Issa Konare and Yuichi Ikeda each scored 11 points.
HeatDevils 89, Suns 75
In Nobeoka, Miyazaki Prefecture, Hiroki Sato scored a season-best 19 points on 8-for-11 shooting (3-for-3 from 3-point range), Taj Finger added 18 points and 12 rebounds and Oita bounced back from a loss in the opener.
Kohei Mitomo scored 15 points and dished out five assists and Rolando Howell, a South Carolina product, added 11 points, 11 boards and eight assists for the HeatDevils (5-5). Kimitake Sato chipped in with nine points for the visitors.
Brandon Cole put 20 points on the board and hauled in 17 rebounds for Miyazaki (3-7), while Elijah Palmer scored 18 and Takuro Ito added 14.
Golden Kings 82, Magic 77
In Ginowan, Okinawa Prefecture, David Palmer scored a game-high 24 points, Tsubasa Yonamine had a season-high 18 and Jeff Newton posted a double-double (16 points, 15 boards) to lead Ryukyu, which earned a weekend sweep.
Yonamine was 3-for-4 from the field and 11-for-11 at the free-throw line as the Golden Kings improved to 5-5. Carlos Dixon added 12 points, eight rebounds and five assists in the win.
For Shimane (5-5), Reggie Golson finished with 23 points and Shoji Nakanishi had 18.