Shimane Susanoo Magic coach Zeljko Pavlicevic made an emotional return to his team this week following the death of his 82-year-old mother, Zora, on Oct. 28.
The veteran bench boss had gone home to Croatia, but came back to lead the club to a 70-66 victory over the visiting Kyoto Hannaryz on Saturday in the bj-league.
The Magic’s hard-fought win was not sharp; the team made 22 turnovers, but had enough big plays to emerge victorious for its Croatian mentor.
Shimane (5-2) sits in third place in the 10-team Western Conference entering Sunday.
Center Jeral Davis led the Magic with 22 points and 10 rebounds, while Michael Parker scored 14 and Brandon Freeman 13.
Gyno Pomare had a 21-point evening for the Hannaryz, who fell to 0-7.
Kyoto shot 1-for-15 from beyond the 3-point arc.
Former MVP David Palmer scored 14 points for the Hannaryz, who feature an almost entirely new cast of players in sideline supervisor Honoo Hamaguchi’s second season in charge.
B-Corsairs 76, Crane Thunders 67
In Kiryu, Gunma Prefecture, Yokohama outplayed the expansion Crane Thunders, spoiling Ryan Blackwell’s coaching debut.
Draelon Burns set the tone for the B-Corsairs (3-2) with 19 points, 10 rebounds and four steals and Masayuki Kabaya canned 5 of 6 3s en route to 17 points. Pape Faye Mour scored 11 points and Paul Butorac had nine for Yokohama.
Kenya Tomori had a season-high 21 points for Gunma (0-9) and Lewis Witcher poured in 13. It was only the Crane Thunders’ second single-digit loss to date.
Grouses 89, Big Bulls 87
In Maruyama, Toyama Prefecture, Angel Garcia scored 21 points and Ira Brown poured in 15 as the hosts handed Iwate its first loss of the season.
Starting guards Masashi Joho and Takeshi Mito both had 12 points for the Grouses (6-3) and Jeremy Jacob scored 10 points off the bench, while Xavier University product Brandon Cole, a former Miyazaki Shining Suns standout, had nine points, four rebounds and two steals in his Toyama debut.
Carlos Dixon paced the Big Bulls (8-1) with 28 points. Reggie Okosa had 17 points, Naoto Nakamura added 15 and Dillion Sneed scored 14. Iwate struggled at the free-throw line, finishing 8-for-15.
Albirex BB 77, Brave Warriors 59
In Nagano, the hosts shot 20-for-67 from the field in a lopsided loss.
Wayne Marshall led Shinshu (5-2) with 20 points and D’Mario Curry scored 11. Veteran guard Takanori Goya did not play due to an injury.
Kimitake Sato, the league’s weekly MVP award winner last weekend, had a team-best 16 points for Niigata (4-3) and Chris Holm finished with 13 points, 19 boards, seven assists and two blocks. Rodney Webb added 11 points and three steals for coach Matt Garrison’s club, which has won four straight games.
Shuhei Komatsu scored nine points, Nile Murry had eight points and nine rebounds and Yuichi Ikeda supplied eight points for Niigata.
Jets 96, Broncos 81
In Saitama, Hiroki Sato scored a team-high 19 points and D’Andre Bell had 16 as Chiba routed the hosts.
Four other Jets scored in double figures: Joe Werner (14), Serge Angounou (13) and Kensuke Tanaka and Shota Isshiki (12 apiece).
Chiba improved to 2-5 under first-year coach Shinji Tomiyama.
The Broncos fell to 1-4, including 0-3 at home.
Guard Takuma Yamashiro canned 4 of 8 3-pointers and finished with 22 points to lead Saitama. John “Helicopter” Humphrey had 18 points, Antwan Scott scored 12, Masahide Haraguchi added 11 and Yuki Kitamuki 10. Former Tokyo Apache forward Dameion Baker, playing in his first bj-league game since 2009, scored zero points in 6:54 of playing time. He was 0-for-2 from the field, grabbed one rebound and picked up a foul.
Chiba out-rebounded Saitama 60-36. Angounou pulled down 15 boards and Werner grabbed 13.
The Broncos allowed 30 fourth-quarter points.
Phoenix 112, Shining Suns 77
In Hamamatsu, Kevin Galloway’s all-around excellence — 13 points, 15 rebounds, 13 assists, three steals and two blocks — carried the Phoenix to a runaway victory over Miyazaki.
The Shining Suns (1-6) trailed 60-36 at halftime.
Adrian Thomas buried 7 of 14 3s for Hamamatsu Higashimikawa (6-3) and finished with 25 points. Former MVP Jeffrey Parmer, the team captain and emotional leader, added 20 points, 13 boards and eight assists. Elbert Fuqua scored 14 points and Shoji Nakanishi and Atsuya Ota each had 11.
For Miyazaki, Larriques Cunningham was the high scorer with 31 points, including 7-for-12 on 3s, and Yuto Otsuka had 19 points.
Northern Happinets 90, Cinq Reves 70
In Akita, the hosts outscored Tokyo 28-12 in the second quarter, and that proved to be the difference for Kazuo Nakamura’s unbeaten squad.
T.J. Cummings scored 23 points and Dion Harris poured in 20 for Akita (5-0) and Anthony Kent had a 19-point effort on 8-for-11 shooting. Nine Happinets registered one or more assists, led by Kent’s five.
Tokyo trailed 51-35 at halftime.
Big man Jonathan Jones paced the Cinq Reves (2-5) with 23 points and 10 rebounds.
Tokyo committed a whopping 27 turnovers, including Rasheem Barrett’s seven. Akita capitalized on Tokyo’s miscues, making 15 steals on the afternoon.
Jared Carter added 17 points for the expansion franchise and Akihito Inoue scored 10 points. Six-time All-Star guard Cohey Aoki was sidelined for the second straight game with an injury.
HeatDevils 79, Lakestars 74
In Omihachiman, Shiga Prefecture, Oita shot 58.7 percent from inside the 3-point arc en route to a victory in the series opener.
Wendell White had 21 points, 16 rebounds and six assists to lead the HeatDevils, who improved to 6-1.
Cyrus Tate chipped in with 15 points and nine rebounds and Matt Lottich and Naoto Takushi each had 12 points, while Taishiro Shimizu finished with nine.
For Shiga (3-4), which has dropped three straight games, Dionisio Gomez finished with a team-high 18 points. Ray Nixon added 12 points and Wayne Arnold scored 11. Takamichi Fujiwara had nine.
The biggest difference in this game, too, was the second quarter, when Oita put 22 points on the board to Shiga’s seven.
After a 19-point first half — the Lakestars faced a 46-19 deficit entering the third quarter — the hosts scored 55 second-half points and held Oita to 33.
Rizing 85, Five Arrows 77
In Fukuoka, Reggie Warren’s 27-point, 18-rebound effort carried the hosts past Takamatsu.
Josh Peppers scored 16 points and added 11 boards and five assists for the Rizing (4-3) and Julius Ashby had 15 points. Jun Nakanishi led the squad with three steals.
Dexter Lyons had 17 points and 13 rebounds for the Five Arrows (2-3).
Takamatsu shot 25.9 percent on 3s (7-for-27).