Shuhei Kitagawa lit up the scoreboard on Christmas night.

It wasn’t quite like Bernard King’s 60-point outburst on Dec. 25, 1984, at Madison Square Garden in the New York Knicks’ memorable win over the New Jersey Nets, but for Kitagawa, it’ll be a night he won’t forget, either.

Kitagawa buried 5 of 7 3-pointers and had a game-high and season-high 21 points, and the Ryukyu Golden Kings offense ran like a well-oiled machine in a 90-74 series-opening victory over the Yokohama B-Corsairs.

For Kitagawa, his five 3s represented a season high. The 30-year-old forward joined Ryukyu after several seasons with the NBL’s Aisin SeaHorses.

A lively crowd of 2,894 fans witnessed the bj-league action at Yokohama Cultural Gymnasium, where Ryukyu (17-6 overall, 10-3 road) collected its second straight win.

What’s more, the visitors tied the Kyoto Hannaryz and Hamamatsu Higashimikawa Phoenix (both 17-5) and Shimane Susanoo Magic (17-7) for the most wins among Western Conference teams.

The Golden Kings dished out 26 assists on 36 baskets. Anthony McHenry handed out seven assists to lead the club, and Draelon Burns and Naoto Kosuge each had four. As a team, the visitors had only nine turnovers on the night.

Burns, a DePaul University product, finished with 14 points and Evan Ravenel added 12 points and nine rebounds. Ryuichi Kishimoto poured in 11 points, including three 3-pointers, while McHenry had 10 points. Shigeyuki Kinjo scored nine points.

Ryukyu took a 45-30 advantage into the third quarter.

Yokohama (13-12 overall, 9-4 home) faced a 71-45 deficit entering the final stanza.

Jordan Henriquez-Roberts and Carl Hall had 14 points apiece for the B-Corsairs. Cory Johnson added 11 points and Kenji Yamada scored nine on 3-for-11 shooting with five assists. Henriquez-Roberts grabbed a team-best 11 rebounds.

Roster moves: The Osaka Evessa have parted ways with veteran post player Markhuri Sanders-Frison and filled his roster spot with the addition of forward Michael Singletary, the team announced this week.

Sanders-Frison, a University of California product, appeared in 22 games, averaging 6.3 points and 8.0 rebounds. He was released due to an unspecified injury, according to a news release.

Singletary, who played college ball at Texas Tech, spent the past two seasons with Orasi Ravenna of Italy’s Serie A2. Last season, the 27-year-old appeared in 30 games and had team-high totals in minutes (34.9), points (16.0) and rebounds (9.2).

“I’m very excited to be here (with the) Osaka Evessa,” Singletary said in a statement. “Good organization and good coaching staff. Excited for the things that this team can accomplish this year.”

The Evessa (14-8) play host to the Fukushima Firebonds (13-9) this weekend. Saturday’s game is scheduled to tip off at 3 p.m. in Sakai, Osaka Prefecture.

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