Former Stanford University and NBA forward Josh Childress delivered a big boost for the San-en NeoPhoenix on Saturday against the visiting Nagoya Diamond Dolphins.
Childress’ productive game — 34 points, 10 rebounds and two blocks in nearly 28 minutes — helped steer the NeoPhoenix to a 93-88 victory in Toyohashi, Aichi Prefecture.
Olu Ashaolu also made a big impact on offense, scoring 22 points on 9-for-11 shooting for San-en (24-16). Atsuya Ota and Shingo Okada scored 10 points apiece and playmaker Tatsuya Suzuki threaded the needle at the point, handing out nine assists.
The NeoPhoenix dominated inside, outscoring Nagoya (21-19) by a 56-32 margin in the paint. They shot 56.1 percent overall.
Jerome Tillman led the Diamond Dolphins with 26 points and grabbed nine rebounds. Takaya Sasayama had 20 points, Tenketsu Harimoto scored 17 and Takumi Ishizaki 12.
Grouses 91, Brex 81
In Kanuma, Tochigi Prefecture, former NBA big man Dexter Pittman and hard-nosed guard Masashi Joho combined for 52 points to spearhead Toyama’s series-opening road win over the Brex.
Pittman, who began his professional career with the Miami Heat in 2010, scored a game-high 27 points on 11-for-17 shooting in 27 minutes. He also pulled down six rebounds and made a steal, and is averaging 13.4 points and 7.5 rebounds in 17 games since joining coach Bob Nash’s club.
Joho, whose wife gave birth to the couple’s first son on Feb. 13, returned to action for the first time as a father and delighted the die-hard Toyama fans who made the trip to Kanuma. Joho scored 25 points, including 9 of 10 from inside the arc.
Drew Viney chipped in with 18 points for the Grouses (9-31), who led 25-15 after one quarter. Naoki Uto added eight points and 10 assists with three steals.
Yusuke Endo, who was 3-for-11 from 3-point range, led the Brex (30-8) with 19 points. Yuta Tabuse had 12 points and four assists. Jeff Gibbs contributed 11 points and nine boards, while Ryan Rossiter, Takatoshi Furukawa and Hironori Watanabe all scored nine points. Rossiter nearly notched a triple-double, adding 14 rebounds and eight assists.
Tochigi turned the ball over 18 times.
Jets 89, Golden Kings 71
In Okinawa City, defensive intensity and balanced scoring guided Chiba past the hosts.
Fumio Nishimura and Kosuke Ishiii made four steals apiece, while Hilton Armstrong swatted three shots and Michael Parker rejected two for Chiba (27-13).
Tyler Stone paced the Jets with 16 points. Armstrong poured in 15 points and Ishii drained 3 of 5 3s in a 13-point outing. Parker and Yuki Togashi scored 11 points apiece.
Armstrong led the visitors with 12 rebounds, including five offensive boards. Parker corralled 11 rebounds.
Ryukyu (17-23) trailed 44-31 at halftime.
Shuhei Kitagawa was the high scorer for the Golden Kings with 13 points and Anthony McHenry and Shota Tsuyama both had 11.
SeaHorses 85, Northern Happinets 65
In Kariya, Aichi Prefecture, Kosuke Kanamaru scored a game-high 27 points and veteran leader J.R. Sakuragi finished with 14 points, 10 rebounds and six assists as the hosts steamrolled Akita.
Gavin Edwards contributed 13 points and nine rebounds for the SeaHorses (29-9) and Shinsuke Kashiwagi had 11 points on 4-for-4 shooting. Isaac Butts grabbed 13 rebounds for Mikawa.
The hosts outrebounded the Northern Happinets 41-32. They led from start to finish.
What’s more, Mikawa outscored the visitors 40-22 in the paint.
Ryosuke Shirahama paced Akita (11-29) with 14 points, knocking down four 3s. Deshawn Stephens had 12 points and Evan Ravenel scored 10.
Alvark 84, Lakestars 83
In Otsu, Shiga Prefecture, Joji Takeuchi drained a game-winning 3-pointer with 1 second remaining in the fouth quarter, lifting Tokyo over the struggling hosts.
Tomonobu Hasegawa had given Shiga an 83-81 lead with 8 seconds to play, making the first of two free throws.
Daiki Tanaka canned 5 of 6 3-point attempts in a 25-point game for the Alvark (30-8). Takeuchi and Shohei Kikuchi both had 15 points. Diante Garrett and Jeff Ayres, a pair of former NBA players, each put 10 points on the board. Ayres grabbed a game-high 11 rebounds.
Julian Mavunga scored 25 points and hauled in nine rebounds for Shiga (9-31). Craig Brackins and Hasegawa had 14 and 12 points, respectively. Narita Namizato provided nine points and dished out five assists, while Yusuke Karino matched Namizato’s point total.
Levanga 86, B-Corsairs 68
In Sapporo, Daniel Miller had 19 points and 11 rebounds and Takanobu Nishikawa put 14 points on the board to lead the hosts past Yokohama.
Asahi Tajima contributed 13 points and four assists for Hokkaido (13-27).
The B-Corsairs (14-26) hurt their cause at the free-throw line, converting 13 of 23 attempts.
Jeff Parmer scored 16 points for Yokohama. Alexis Minatoya had 14 points and Faye Pape Mour chipped in with 13 points, seven boards and four assists.
Sunrockers 75, Hannaryz 66
In Tokyo, R.T. Guinn sank three 3-pointers in a 16-point performance and Shibuya’s defense held Kyoto in check in the series opener.
Takashi Ito poured in 14 points and Ira Brown and Robert Sacre both scored 10. Sacre, a former NBA center, corralled nine rebounds. Aki Chambers and Leo Vendrame added seven points apiece, with Vendrame dishing out four assists for the Sunrockers (19-19).
Marcus Dove paced the Hannaryz (19-21) with 20 points, making 8 of 12 shots from the field. Dove pulled down 13 rebounds.
Kevin Kotzur scored 14 points and Hayato Kawashima had 13 for Kyoto.
Evessa 100, Albirex BB 85
In Nagaoka, Niigata Prefecture, Josh Harrellson’s 23-point, 13-rebound, seven-assist effort sparked Osaka in a rout of the hosts.
The Evessa (20-20) shot 50.7 percent from the field
Xavier Gibson scored 14 points, Hiroyuki Kinoshita provided 13 and Shota Konno 12 for the visitors, who led 52-39 at the half.
Clint Chapman and Kei Igarashi each had 26 points for Niigata (19-21).
Chapman pulled down 12 rebounds and also committed seven turnovers. He had five blocks as well.
Igarashi knocked down 6 of 12 3-point shots.
Shunki Hatakeyama finished with 16 points and five assists for the hosts, who played without star big man Davante Gardner, the league’s second-leading scorer (21.6 points per game).
Second-division update: Here are the results of Saturday’s games: Gunma Crane Thunders 81, Tokyo Excellence 80; Earthfriends Tokyo Z 84, Hiroshima Dragonflies 64; Shinshu Brave Warriors 94, Fukushima Firebonds 78; Fighting Eagles Nagoya 90, Kagawa Five Arrows 81; Nishinomiya Storks 71, Ibaraki Robots 65; Kumamoto Volters 87, Aomori Wat’s 83; Ehime Orange Vikings 78, Iwate Big Bulls 69; Yamagata Wyverns 70, Kagoshima Rebnise 63; and Shimane Susanoo Magic 82, Bambitious Nara 75.
In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.