The Chiba Jets cruised past the Levanga Hokkaido on Saturday, producing a 77-60 triumph for their eighth consecutive victory.
Over their past 10 games, the Jets are 9-1, the best current stretch in the 18-team top flight.
And perhaps a strong finish to the regular season — there’s only Sunday left — bodes well for Chiba in the playoffs.
Forward Tyler Stone led the Jets (43-16) with 21 points and grabbed seven rebounds in Sapporo. He fired away repeatedly from 3-point range, attempting 10 shots (two makes). He was 4-for-5 from inside the arc and 7-for-10 at the free-throw line. Frontcourt mate Hilton Armstrong had 20 points, 12 rebounds (five offensive boards) and four blocks.
Chiba outscored the hosts 40-24 in the paint.
Guard Yuki Togashi chipped in with 12 points and four assists for the Jets, who led 35-23 at halftime. Teammate Michael Parker contributed eight points, nine rebounds, three assists and two steals, while Kosuke Ishii and Ryumo Ono both scored seven points.
For Hokkaido (23-36), Daniel Miller had 18 points and Jahmar Thorpe scored nine. Jordan Bachynski and Takehiko Orimo added eight and seven points, respectively. Yoshitake Matsushima handed out seven assists. Bachynski grabbed a team-high 11 rebounds.
Lakestars 80, SeaHorses 65
In Kariya, Aichi Prefecture, Shiga used a 17-0 second-half run to seize control against Mikawa.
That impressive spurt gave the Lakestars a 71-49 advantage early in the fourth quarter. They went on to win their fifth consecutive game, and improved to 8-2 over their past 10 contests.
Julian Mavunga paced Shiga (20-39) with 22 points and 12 rebounds. He also had four assists. Craig Brackins added 18 points and 10 boards and Yusuke Karino canned four 3s to account for his 12 points. Floor leader Narito Namizato dished out six assists, while Faye Samba scored nine points.
Makoto Hiejima scored 16 points for Mikawa (46-13). He played a team-high 21-plus minutes. Masaaki Morikawa added 12 points and Shinsuke Kashiwagi and Gavin Edwards both had eight points.
Shiga outrebounded the hosts 46-37.
89ers 69, Brex 64
In Sendai, two-time bj-league MVP Wendell White had 27 points and eight rebounds and Greg Mangano put 10 points on the board as the 89ers edged Tochigi in a defensive struggle.
Sendai shot 36.8 percent from the field; the visitors shot 33.3 percent.
Kaito Ishikawa and Takayuki Kumagai each scored eight points for the 89ers (14-45), who had 13 assists and seven turnovers in the series opener.
Yutaro Suda paced the Brex (45-14) with 15 points and Naoya Kumagae had 11. Takatoshi Furukawa finished with 10 points. Kosuke Takeuchi added seven points and 16 rebounds and Tommy Brenton chipped in with six points, 18 boards and five assists. Hironori Watanabe matched Brenton’s scoring output.
Alvark 83, Northern Happinets 80
In Akita, Diante Garrett’s game-high 26 points and six assists helped guide Tokyo past the hosts.
Jeff Ayres scored 14 points and grabbed seven rebounds for the Alvark (43-16) and Daiki Tanaka poured in 12 points. Shohei Kikuchi had a 10-point performance, Joji Takeuchi scored nine and Takeki Shonaka eight, including 2-for-2 from 3-point range.
Scott Morrison led Akita (18-41) with 22 points and 10 rebounds. Takuya Nakayama scored 11 points and Seiya Ando had 10 points, five assists and four steals.
Albirex BB 75, B-Corsairs 72
In Nagaoka, Niigata Prefecture, center Davante Gardner’s 32-point, 10-rebound, six-assist effort ignited the hosts in a narrow win over Yokohama.
Gardner was 12-for-16 from the field.
Clint Chapman had 11 points and nine boards for the Albirex (26-33) and Tenyoku You scored 10 points. Kei Igarashi finished with eight points and four assists.
For the B-Corsairs (16-43), Jeff Parmer had 19 points. Jason Washburn scored 14 points, Masashi Hosoya added 12 points and Faye Pape Mour and Takuya Kawamura both had 11. Faye pulled down a team-high 11 rebounds.
Yokohama lost its fourth straight game.
NeoPhoenix 83, Grouses 68
In Toyohashi, Aichi Prefecture, Robert Dozier and Shuto Tawatari scored 20 points apiece and San-en dominated the third quarter in a lopsided victory over Toyama.
The NeoPhoenix (33-26) outscored the visitors 31-11 during the third stanza, taking a 65-50 lead into the fourth quarter.
Tawatari canned 5 of 7 3s and handed out four assists.
Josh Childress poured in 19 points and hauled in nine rebounds for San-en. Junki Kano scored 10 points and Tatsuya Suzuki dished out eight assists. Center Atsuya Ota chipped in with seven points and eight boards.
Yu Okada led the Grouses (17-42) with 17 points. Sam Willard added 14 points and nine rebounds and Dexter Pittman had 12 points and nine rebounds. Drew Viney scored nine points.
Diamond Dolphins 97, Hannaryz 84
In Kyoto, Takaya Sasayama sank five 3-pointers in a 21-point performance and Tenketsu Harimoto added 19 points as coach Reggie Geary’s squad defeated the hosts.
Nagoya (26-33) shot 62.3 percent from inside the arc, including Harimoto’s 6-for-6 and Jerome Tillman’s 6-for-6. Justin Burrell, who had 18 points, eight rebounds and five assists, made 7 of 8 2-point attempts. Tillman finished with 15 points.
Kyoto led 45-43 at halftime.
Genki Kojima had 19 points and four assists for the Hannaryz (25-34) and Mo Charlo added 15 points and seven rebounds. Marcus Dove also scored 15 points, Hayato Kawashima provided 11 with four assists and Kevin Kotzur scored nine with seven rebounds.
Golden Kings 88, Evessa 83 (OT)
In Okinawa City, balanced scoring and opportunistic defense keyed the hosts’ overtime triumph over rival Osaka.
Reyshawn Terry was the top scorer for the Golden Kings, finishing with 21 points and hauling in eight rebounds. Ryunosuke Watanabe pumped in 11 points and Ryuichi Kishimoto and Shota Tsuyama both had 10. Lamont Hamilton added nine points and Anthony McHenry scored eight. Shigeyuki Kinjo doled out five assists.
In just under eight minutes of playing time, speedy guard Morihisa Yamauchi made five steals for Ryukyu.
Entering Sunday’s series finale, the Golden Kings and Evessa both have 28-31 records.
Takuya Hashimoto led Osaka with 21 points on 9-for-14 shooting. Xavier Gibson (17 points, 12 boards) and Josh Harrellson (10 points, 17 rebounds, four blocks) both notched double-doubles for the Evessa, with Hiroyuki Kinoshita dishing out nine assists with no turnovers
Sunrockers 78, Brave Thunders 76
In Kawasaki, Shibuya edged the hosts in a down-to-the-wire contest to salvage a series split in the teams’ regular-season finale. Leo Vendrame sank two free throws with 15 seconds remaining for the final points of the game.
The Brave Thunders have a league-best 49-11 record. The Sunrockers are 32-28.
On Friday, Shibuya was 5-for-18 at the foul line. A day later, coach BT Toews’ club made 24 of 31.
Ira Brown had 17 points and 10 rebounds for Shibuya and Robert Sacre contributed 14 points and nine boards. Yuto Otsuka added 13 points, including 3 of 4 from long range. Vendrame had a 12-point afternoon in a game that featured 14 ties and 10 lead changes.
Ryan Spangler played a team-high 28 minutes for Kawasaki. He led his team in scoring (16 points) and rebounding (11). Yuma Fujii added 14 points and Ryusei Shinoyama scored 12. Takumi Hasegawa chipped in with nine points and four assists.
The Brave Thunders were 6-for-13 at the charity stripe.
Second-division update: Here are the results of Saturday’s games: Hiroshima Dragonflies 77, Ehime Orange Vikings 52; Nishinomiya Storks 84, Tokyo Excellence 74; Fighting Eagles Nagoya 87, Earthfriends Tokyo Z 67; Gunma Crane Thunders 73, Yamagata Wyverns 69; Bambitious Nara 89, Shinshu Brave Warriors 78; Shimane Susanoo Magic 81, Kagoshima Rebnise 47; Aomori Wat’s 81, Fukushima Firebonds 80; Ibaraki Robots 89, Iwate Big Bulls 74; and Kumamoto Volters 69, Kagawa Five Arrows 64.