The Kawasaki Brave Thunders jumped out to a big lead in the second and third quarters, then held off the pesky Chiba Jets Funabashi down the stretch on Friday.
The Brave Thunders recorded an 87-80 victory over their East Division rival at Todoroki Arena.
Chiba, which forced nine fourth-quarter turnovers in the series opener, outscored the hosts 31-12 in the final stanza.
Former NBA player Nick Fazekas had 22 points and 16 rebounds for Kawasaki (20-11) and Naoto Tsuji scored 21 points and dished out six assists. Ryusei Shinoyama contributed 10 points and four steals and Josh Davis added eight points and eight rebounds.
The Jets trailed 42-30 at halftime and 75-49 entering the fourth quarter.
Chiba’s Gavin Edwards scored 11 of his game-high 27 points in the fourth and pulled down 11 rebounds. He was 5 of 10 at the free-throw line.
The Jets’ Leo Lyons and Michael Parker each finished with 13 points and eight rebounds, with Lyons scoring eight points in the last quarter.
Fumio Nishimura, who had three of Chiba’s seven fourth-quarter steals, contributed seven points in the fourth and 11 overall. He handed out four assists.
The Jets (21-10) made 9 of 12 shots from inside the 3-point arc during their dramatic rally that fell short in the fourth.
Kawasaki held a slight edge in rebounds (45-41).
The Nishonomiya Storks, seeking to bolster their backcourt, have added veteran shooting guard Yu Okada to their roster on a transfer deal, it was announced on Friday.
Okada’s stint with the Storks is set to expire on June 30.
This season, Okada has appeared in 18 games for the Toyama Grouses. He’s averaging 5.6 points per game.
The 34-year-old Okada joined Toyama in 2016.
He is expected to play in the Storks’ weekend series against the Ryukyu Golden Kings.
On the move
Veteran forward Gyno Pomare has left the Osaka Evessa and joined the Iwate Big Bulls, it was announced on Wednesday.
The 203-cm Pomare appeared in 29 games for the Evessa this season, averaging 11.5 points and 7.4 rebounds.
Pomare suited up for Iwate during the 2013-14 bj-league campaign.
New boss in Iwate
Former Tsukuba Robots head coach Donte’ Hill, who worked in Vietnam from 2015-17, is undertaking a difficult reclamation project in Iwate.
The American was named the second-division Big Bulls’ new bench boss on Jan. 10.
The Big Bulls were swept by the Akita Northern Happinets last weekend in Hill’s first series in charge. They have lost 23 consecutive games.
Iwate (2-28) plays host to the Gunma Crane Thunders (18-12) on Saturday and Sunday.
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