The Hamamatsu Higashimikawa Phoenix never shy away from firing up a barrage of 3-point shots. This is a one of their trademarks.
They’ve made 414 of them this season, including two 3s on Saturday that propelled the defending champions to an 83-82 overtime victory over the red-hot Rizing Fukuoka.
Wayne Arnold, who scored 29 points, canned the game-winning shot, a 3-pointer, with 1 second left, lifting Hamamatsu to its 38th win in 43 games. He was 3-for-7 on 3s in the series opener and has drained 105 3s this season.
The game was sent into overtime when 2009-10 Final Four MVP Masahiro Oguchi buried a 3 with 51 seconds to play in the fourth quarter. That tied it at 71-71, with neither team scoring again until the bonus period.
Oguchi finished with three points, so his clutch basket proved to be a huge shot in front of the home fans in Hamamatsu.
The Rizing’s eight-game winning streak ended despite Michael Parker’s 29 points, 11 rebounds and six steals and sidekick Akitomo Takeno’s 23-point effort.
Nile Murry had 10 points, six rebounds and four assists for Fukuoka (29-18), while Abdullahi Kuso collected 11 rebounds and made four steals and Thiago Cordeiro had eight points and 10 boards.
For the hosts, Dzaflo Larkai scored 12 points, Jeffrey Parmer chipped in with 11 points and nine boards, Ray Nixon also scored 11 and Shingo Okada had nine.
Golden Kings 81, Hannaryz 74
In Okinawa City, Anthony McHenry scored a game-high 24 points on his 28th birthday and Naoto Kosuge added 13 as Ryukyu edged Kyoto.
Carlos Dixon chipped in with 11 points and Jeff Newton put 10 on the board for the Golden Kings, who improved to a Western Conference-best 32-15 before an announced crowd of 2,593.
For Kyoto (25-20), Kibwe Trim led all scorers with 19 points and had 12 rebounds and Reggie Warren continued his hard-nosed play of late with 14 points and 17 boards. Former NBA guard Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf was held to six points on 1-for-10 shooting.
The Hannaryz were 4-for-18 from 3-point range.
Evessa 94, Five Arrows 72
In Kadoma, Osaka Prefecture, the title-chasing Evessa scored 30 fourth-quarter points to secure their 30th victory of the season under rookie head coach Ryan Blackwell.
Billy Knight paced Osaka (30-17) with 19 points along with eight rebounds and five assists. Shota Konno scored 16 points on 7-for-11 shooting, power forward Lynn Washington added 15 points, 10 boards and four assists and Wayne Marshall had a dozen points. Ex-NBA floor leader Kenny Satterfield finished with seven points, seven rebounds and six assists.
As the playoffs approach, the Evessa, like other teams, are making defensive adjustments. Which is why the team’s eight blocked shots on Saturday will please Blackwell.
Takamatsu, which has lost an astonishing 74 games since last October, had four double-digit scorers: Jeffrey Price (14 points), Kirby Lemons and Terrance Farley (13 apiece) and Hiroyuki Kikuchi (12). The Five Arrows have a league-worst 10-35 record entering the season’s stretch run.
Happinets 74, Grouses 61
In Akita, the expansion Northern Happinets outscored Toyama in each of the four quarters en route to victory.
Will Graves led Akita with 18 points and grabbed nine rebounds and Sek Henry had 16 points, eight rebounds, nine assists and two steals.
Kazuhiro Shoji poured in 12 points, including 4-for-8 from 3-point range, Dokun Akingbade had a double-double (11 points, 17 rebounds) and Ryosuke Mizumachi chipped in with 10 points and five steals for the Happinets (16-31).
Last weekend, Shimane’s Japanese players outscored Akita’s by a whopping total of 82-15. In the series opener, Happinets coach Bob Pierce’s club responded to the challenge of getting balanced production from its imports and native players.
For Toyama (12-29), John Davis had a team-high 19 points, Makoto Kato scored 15 points and Takeshi Mito had an 11-point, six-assist afternoon.
Davis also raked in 10 rebounds for the struggling Grouses, who missed 22 of 29 shots from beyond the 3-point arc.
Lakestars 99, Shining Suns 73
In Yasu, Shiga Prefecture, the high-octane Lakestars offense was too much for Miyazaki to handle in the series opener.
Lamar Rice led Shiga with 19 points in 23-plus minutes and Mikey Marshall had 16 points and nine rebounds, while Takamichi Fujiwara scored 14 and Ray Schafer added 11.
Gary Hamilton, meanwhile, chipped in with eight points, 18 rebounds and seven assists. Yu Okada had nine points, Daiki Terashita, who joined the team after the Saitama Broncos’ season ended, scored eight and Masashi Joho poured in seven.
The Lakestars improved to 27-20, staying in the thick of things in the Western Conference playoff race.
For the expansion Shining Suns (13-34), Taishiro Shimizu had a 24-point, five-rebound, five-assist performance and Brandon Cole scored 14 and hauled in 12 boards.
Susanoo Magic 88, HeatDevils 78
In Beppu, Oita Prefecture, the short-handed hosts lost their 10th consecutive game. They trailed by 23 points entering the fourth quarter.
Terry Evans led Shimane (23-24) with 19 points with seven rebounds. All-Star guard Takumi Ishizaki directed the offense effectively, finishing with 15 points and 11 assists, while Tatsuhiro Yokoo had 14, Reggie Golson scored 12 and Will Caudle had 11.
For Oita (16-31), Damian Johnson was the team’s top scorer (28 points) and Matt Lottich had a 21-point game. Kimitake Sato added 14 points and Kohei Mitomo finished with seven points, five rebounds and five assists.