Veteran shooting guard Masashi Joho delivered a vintage performance on Saturday to lead the Toyama Grouses to a 94-79 victory over the Yokohama B-Corsairs.
Joho, a 34-year-old former bj-league MVP, drained 6 of 8 3-point shots and scored a game-high 29 points at Yokohama International Swimming Pool.
The Grouses (12-34) outscored the hosts 25-11 in the fourth quarter.
Rising star Naoki Uto had 16 points and 10 assists for Toyama. Takeshi Mito and Dexter Pittman scored 15 points apiece. Pittman, a former NBA center, also grabbed a game-best 15 rebounds. Drew Viney had 13 points and three steals.
Takuya Kawamura paced Yokohama (15-31) with 22 points. Jeff Parmer added 13 points and five assists and Masashi Hosoya and Alexis Minatoya scored 10 points apiece. Faye Pape Mour contributed seven points and 12 rebounds.
Brave Thunders 84, Albirex BB 65
In Niigata, Nick Fazekas’ 31-point, 17-rebound effort helped guide Kawasaki past the hosts.
Kengo Nomoto finished with 14 points for the Brave Thunders (38-8), who clinched a playoff berth on Saturday. Yuma Fujii scored 13 points and dished out five assists. Naoto Tsuji contributed eight points and five assists.
Kawasaki shot 55.6 percent from the field and held Niigata to 35.9 percent (23 of 64).
Davante Gardner led the Albirex (20-26) with 22 points and Clint Chapman scored 19. Kei Igarashi had 13 points and four assists.
Sunrockers 77, NeoPhoenix 70
In Hamamatsu, balanced scoring sparked Shibuya in a series-opening win.
Robert Sacre finished with 22 points and nine rebounds for the Sunrockers (23-23), who had five double-digit scorers, including Aki Chambers and Ira Brown with 12 points apiece. Brown also hauled in 12 rebounds and was one of three Shibuya players — Takashi Ito and Kenta Hirose were the others — with four assists.
Josh Childress scored 28 points and grabbed 12 rebounds for San-en (25-21) and Olu Ashaolu had 15 points.
SeaHorses 89, Evessa 66
In Osaka, Mikawa dominated the third quarter, including an 18-0 run, and pounded the hosts in the series opener to clinch a spot in the B. League playoffs.
Makoto Hiejima was the SeaHorses’ high scorer with 23 points. Kosuke Kanamaru and Gavin Edwards provided 18 and 15 points, respectively. Masaya Karimata added 12 points and six assists.
Isaac Butts had 10 points and 12 rebounds and J.R. Sakuragi added 13 boards and six assists along with four points for Mikawa (36-10).
Shinnosuke Negoro had 15 points for Osaka (22-24). Shota Konno scored 13 points and Josh Harrellson had 12.
The Evessa were held to 37.5 percent shooting.
Alvark 78, Northern Happinets 60
In Tokyo, the hosts’ potent inside scoring carried them to a lopsided victory over Akita.
The Alvark (36-10), who wrapped up a playoff berth, outscored the visitors 44-18 in the paint.
Zack Baranski finished with 16 points and Diante Garrett had 12 points and five assists for Tokyo. Trent Plaisted, Daiki Tanaka and Takeki Shonaka added 10 points apiece.
Shigehiro Taguchi scored 19 points and Leo Lyons had 15 with 10 rebounds for the Happinets (13-33).
Brex 86, 89ers 53
In Utsunomiya, Tochigi Prefecture, the hosts put 49 points on the board in the second half in a runaway win over Sendai.
With the victory, Brex coach Tom Wisman’s team clinched a playoff berth.
Jeff Gibbs delivered a 19-point, 13-rebound effort for Tochigi (37-9) and Yutaro Suda poured in 17 points, including 4-for-4 from beyond the arc. Hironori Watanabe contributed 13 points and six assists, while Kosuke Takeuchi also scored 13 points. Ryan Rossiter had 11 rebounds for the Brex, who outrebounded Sendai 43-26.
Naoya Kumagae blocked two shots for Tochigi.
Former Yale University pivotman Greg Mangano was the 89ers’ top scorer with eight points. Takehiko Shimura and Tshilidzi Nephawe both had seven points.
Sendai (12-34) trailed 37-28 at halftime.
Golden Kings 89, Hannaryz 78
In Kyoto, Naoki Tashiro canned five 3s in a 23-point outing and Shuhei Kitagawa achieved perfection en route to 18 points as Ryukyu rolled to its fifth consecutive win.
Kitagawa was 5-for-5 from the field and 6-for-6 from the charity stripe.
Ryuichi Kishimoto added 15 points and four assists for the Golden Kings (22-24) and Lamont Hamilton had 13 points, 13 rebounds and five assists.
Ryukyu made 70.3 percent of its shots (26 of 37) from 2-point range.
Kevin Kotzur scored 22 points for the Hannaryz (21-25) and Marcus Dove had 14 with 11 rebounds.
Lakestars 83, Diamond Dolphins 82
In Nagoya, Julian Mavunga nailed a game-winning jumper with 2 seconds remaining to lift Shiga over the hosts.
Mavunga paced the Lakestars (11-35) with 28 points and 11 rebounds. He had eight of the club’s 15 turnovers. Craig Brackins added 14 points and Narito Namizato scored 12 and doled out seven assists.
For Nagoya (22-24), Jerome Tillman had 25 points and 16 boards. Tenketsu Harimoto scored 16 points and David Weaver had 13.
Jets 98, Levanga 88
In Funabashi, Chiba Prefecture, sharpshooter Tyler Stone knocked down 7 of 10 3s in an electrifying 30-point performance and Michael Parker notched a double-double as the hosts downed Hokkaido.
Parker had 22 points on 9-for-13 shooting, 14 rebounds, three steals and a block.
Yuki Togashi supplied 15 points and four assists for the Jets (32-14). Kosuke Ishii scored 11 points and made three steals, Hilton Armstrong had a 10-point outing and Ryumo Ono chipped in with seven points and five assists.
Chiba, which made 13 of 27 3-point attempts, shot 54.7 percent from the field.
Jahmar Thorpe led the Levanga (17-29) with 24 points and 13 rebounds. Daniel Miller had 19 points. Takanobu Nishikawa scored 16 points, including four 3s. Ryota Sakurai handed out a team-best six assists.
Second-division update: Here are the results of Saturday’s games: Hiroshima Dragonflies 87, Kagawa Five Arrows 77; Ibaraki Robots 80, Yamagata Wyverns 72; Kumamoto Volters 87, Kagoshima Rebnise 64; Earthfriends Tokyo Z 81, Fighting Eagles Nagoya 72; Iwate Big Bulls 83, Fukushima Firebonds 75; Aomori Wat’s 83, Gunma Crane Thunders 77; Nishinomiya Storks 80, Shinshu Brave Warriors 78; Tokyo Excellence 106, Bambitious Nara 104; and Shimane Susanoo Magic 77, Ehime Orange Vikings 59.