Dexter Pittman scored nine of his 15 points in the fourth quarter and rising star Naoki Uto contributed 28 points and 10 assists as the Toyama Grouses topped the visiting Kyoto Hannaryz 93-92 on Saturday night.
The Grouses (4-3) sank 10 of 17 3-pointers. Yuto Otsuka made 4 of 8 long-range shots, giving him his 12 points in the series opener.
Drew Viney chipped in with 15 points and frontcourt mate Sam Willard had 14 points and 13 rebounds for Toyama.
For Kyoto (4-3), Julian Mavunga scored 20 points and Joshua Smith had 16 points and 13 rebounds. Yusuke Okada contributed 19 points and seven assists.
The Hannaryz shot 16-for-28 at the free-throw line.
Evessa 84, Jets 68
In Funabashi, Chiba Prefecture, a dominating rebounding performance paid off for Osaka.
Coach Dai Oketani’s team held a sizable advantage in rebounding, which contributed to an impressive edge in second-chance points.
Led by Greg Smith’s 14 rebounds and Gyno Pomare’s 12, the Evessa outrebounded the hosts 46-29. And they held a 16-5 advantage in second-chance points.
David Wear, a former UCLA player, scored 16 points for Osaka (2-5). Naoya Kumagae poured in 14 points and blocked three shots. Smith supplied 12 points and four assists. Shota Konno had a 10-point effort and Hiroyuki Kinoshita chipped in with nine points (3-for-3 from beyond the arc), six assists and three steals.
Osaka lit up the scoreboard from 3-point range, knocking down 11 of 21 attempts.
The Jets (5-2) trailed 48-29 at halftime.
Gavin Edwards scored 18 points for Chiba. Aki Chambers had 14 points and Michael Parker added 10 and a team-high seven rebounds. Yuki Togashi added nine points and had five turnovers.
Alvark 76, Brex 71
In Oyama, Tochigi Prefecture, the defending champions lost their third straight game and fell to 2-5 on the season.
Tokyo (6-1) delivered a strong offensive performance, including stellar passing and effective ball movement. Four Alvark players chalked up four assists (Genki Kojima, Seiya Ando, Daiki Tanaka and Jawad Williams) and Joji Takeuchi handed out five.
Alex Kirk led the Alvark with 16 points and 10 rebounds and Williams and Takeuchi both scored 11. Former University of Kansas player Landen Lucas, a rookie, contributed eight points and two blocks in just under 16 minutes.
Tokyo, which never trailed, led 40-30 at halftime.
Ryan Rossiter had 16 points, 13 boards and seven assists for the Brex. Yuta Tabuse scored 13 points and Shuhei Kitagawa had 12. Playing against his twin brother Joji, Kosuke Takeuchi had six points and nine boards.
Lakestars 78, Storks 62
In Nishinomiya, Hyogo Prefecture, veteran big man D’or Fischer scored a game-high 19 points on 8-for-8 shooting from the field, pulled down seven rebounds and swatted four shots as Shiga salvaged a series split with the hosts.
Fischer, a University of West Virginia alum whose pro career has included stops in Poland, Germany, Belgium, Israel, Spain and Ukraine and Russia, also sank all three of his free-throw attempts to complete a perfect shooting day. The 36-year-old, in his first season with the Lakestars, had two assists and a steal in 30-plus minutes.
Shiga (2-6) outscored Nishinomiya 22-6 in the third quarter to take a 67-45 lead into the final stanza.
Yutaka Yokoe added 14 points and four assists and Omar Samhan scored 13 points and grabbed 10 rebounds with a pair of blocks for the Lakestars.
Connor Lammert paced the Storks (2-6) with 16 points and Naoki Tani and Draelon Burns both had 11.
Diamond Dolphins 89, NeoPhoenix 81
In Nagoya, the hosts raced out to a 26-6 lead entering the second quarter and held off San-en despite NeoPhoenix sharpshooter Shuto Tawatari’s banner performance.
Justin Burrell led the Diamond Dolphins (2-5) with 20 points on 8-for-10 shooting and Jerome Tillman scored 16 points. Takaya Sasayama and Shuto Ando contributed 12 and 11 points, respectively. Sasayama dished out six assists. Seiya Funyu finished with eight points and six steals.
Tawatari canned 6 of 10 3-pointers in a 20-point performance. Scott Morrison had 15 points and eight rebounds for San-en (4-3) and Hayato Kawashima also had 15 points. Cartier Martin, who missed all seven of his 3s, added 10 points.
NeoPhoenix center Atsuya Ota appeared in his 500th regular-season game for the team.
Brave Thunders 71, Sunrockers 69
In Kawasaki, Nick Fazekas and Ryusei Shinoyama drained 3-pointers in the final 54 seconds to lift the hosts past Shibuya for the second straight day.
Fazekas’ 3 tied the game at 68-68.
Shinoyama put the Brave Thunders (6-2) in the lead to stay with 21 seconds remaining.
With 14 seconds remaining, Shibuya’s Leo Vendrame made the second of two foul shots to account for the final score.
Josh Davis scored 10 of his 12 points in the fourth quarter for Kawasaki. He corralled a game-high 16 rebounds. Shinoyama scored 15 points, Fazekas finished with 14 points and Naoto Tsuji had 11.
Robert Sacre was the high scorer for the Sunrockers (3-5), putting 19 points on the board. He hauled in 12 rebounds. Tomoya Hasegawa added 11 points and Josh Harrellson scored eight and grabbed 13 rebounds. Kenta Hirose matched Harrellson’s point total. Takashi Ito handed out five assists.
SeaHorses 79, B-Corsairs 73
In Yokohama, Daniel Orton’s double-double (26 points, 10 rebounds) and J.R. Sakuragi’s 19-point night helped carry Mikawa past the hosts.
Makoto Hiejima poured in 17 points and Keijuro Matsui had 11 for the SeaHorses (6-1). Issac Butts grabbed 12 rebounds, while Masaya Karimata and Hiejima both dished out five assists.
Takuya Kawamura led Yokohama (1-6) with 20 points and seven assists. Jeff Parmer scored 14 points and former UConn and NBA center Hasheem Thabeet, who’s now 30, had 11 points, 11 rebounds and three blocks.
Levanga 84, Albirex BB 81
In Niigata, Hokkaido recovered from a slow start and finished strong in a narrow win over the hosts.
The Levanga, who trailed 29-14 after the opening quarter, scored 31 fourth-quarter points and held the Albirex to 13.
Greg Whittington had 23 points for Hokkaido (5-2) and Marc Trasolini contributed 17 points, nine boards and five steals. Takehiko Orimo and Daisuke Noguchi both scored 10 points and Ryota Sakurai added eight points and five assists.
Davante Gardner finished with 31 points and 15 rebounds for Niigata (3-4). Kei Igarashi had 11 points and six assists and Yuichi Ikeda also scored 11 points.
Susanoo Magic 75, Golden Kings 69
In Matsue, Shimane Prefecture, balanced scoring played a pivotal role in the hosts’ series-opening triumph over Ryukyu.
Joshua Scott (16 points, 10 rebounds), Brendan Lane (15 points), Kazuya “J.” Hatano (10 points) and Shota Watanabe and Kimitake Sato (nine apiece) all made significant scoring contributions for the Susanoo Magic (3-4).
Hassan Martin led the Golden Kings (5-2) with 12 points. Kohei Ninomiya and Yutaro Suda scored 11 and 10, respectively.
Here are the results of Saturday’s games:
Orange Vikings 75, Volters 70
Earthfriends 73, Fighting Eagles 68
Wyverns 78, Crane Thunders 75
Northern Happinets 71, Wat’s 68
Big Bulls 94, 89ers 92
Firebonds 77, Bambitious 67
Samuraiz 90, Robots 70
Rizing Zephyr 78, Brave Warriors 74
Five Arrows 78, Dragonflies 67