If teams can dominate in the takeaway department, they often produce successful results.
Friday night provided a vivid example in a B. League series opener at Todoroki Arena, where the Kawasaki Brave Thunders outplayed the visiting San-en NeoPhoenix.
The result? Kawasaki improved to 42-8, winning 89-76.
What’s more, the Brave Thunders outscored the NeoPhoenix 16-0 in points off turnovers.
San-en (27-23) finished with 17 turnovers.
Kawasaki finished with 10 steals, including Naoto Tsuji’s game-high four and two by Yuma Fujii. The Central Division regular-season champs also had 21 assists and just three turnovers.
Tsuji added 16 points and seven assists. He knocked down 4 of 8 3-point attempts. Teammate Nick Fazekas had a banner performance as well, scoring 35 points on 14-for-24 shooting and grabbing 16 rebounds, while Ryusei Shinoyama added nine points and dished out five assists.
Brave Thunders swingman Takumi Hasegawa doled out six assists.
The hosts led 44-39 at halftime.
Josh Childress paced the NeoPhoenix with 27 points and 13 rebounds. Shuto Tawatari poured in 13 points and Robert Dozier had nine points. Tatsuya Suzuki dished out a team-best six assists.
Coaching moves: After the Yokohama B-Corsairs fired head coach Taketo Aoki on March 31, the team handed the coaching reins to assistant Shota Shakuno, making him the interim bench boss.
Shakuno is in his first season with the team.
On Wednesday, the B-Corsairs (15-34) announced the hiring of former JBL and national team player Satoru Furuta as an assistant coach.
Since wrapping up his playing career in 2011 with Toyota, Furuta has held a variety of coaching positions, including in the WJBL.
Second-division update: Here are the results of Friday’s games: Shimane Susanoo Magic 71, Kumamoto Volters 61; and Nishinomiya Storks 110, Tokyo Excellence 82.
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