The Utsunomiya Brex overcame SeaHorses Mikawa newcomer Davante Gardner’s game-high 40 points to earn a 92-86 series-opening home win on Saturday.
Ryan Rossiter paced the Brex (4-2) with 20 points, 14 rebounds, seven assists and three steals.
Five teammates also scored in double figures: Makoto Hiejima, Yusuke Endo and Hironori Watanabe (13 points apiece), Seiji Ikaruga (12) and Kosuke Hashimoto (11).
The game was tied 49-49 at halftime.
Gardener, a Marquette University alum and two-time reigning league scoring champion, made 16 of 23 shots from the floor. He grabbed 12 rebounds to complete the double-double. Yuta Okada and Ko Kumagai added 13 and 12 points, respectively, for Mikawa (2-4).
It was an entertaining, back-and-forth game, featuring 13 lead changes and eight ties.
The game was deadlocked at 67-67 entering the fourth quarter.
Brave Thunders 83, Jets 73
Highlights: In Funabashi, Chiba Prefecture, star big man Nick Fazekas paced visiting Kawasaki (4-1) with 23 points and 16 rebounds. … Yuki Togashi had 19 points for Chiba (2-3).
Susanoo Magic 74, B-Corsairs 64
Highlights: In Yokohama, Robert Carter’s 26-point, 10-rebound performance helped carry Shimane (1-5) past the hosts. Carter was 0-for-8 on 3s. Teammate Brian Qvale scored 19 points and snared nine boards. … Jason Washburn finished with 18 points and 13 rebounds for Yokohama (2-3), while Hungarian big man Gyorgy Galoman also scored 18 points.
Hannaryz 100, Alvark 93
Highlights: In Tachikawa, Kyoto center David Simon, who leads the league in scoring (27.7 points per game) continued his excellent offensive play to open the season, scoring a game-best 37 points on 16-for-24 shooting. Julian Mavunga ignited the offense with 15 assists and 27 points and pulled down eight boards for Kyoto (6-0). Keijuro Matsui buried 7 of 9 3-pointers in an electrifying 26-point afternoon. … For the Alvark (2-3), Seiya Ando had 24 points and eight assists, while Alex Kirk finished with 23 points and 13 rebounds.
In Other Games
Albirex BB 78, Levanga 68
Evessa 81, Grouses 76
Sunrockers 87, NeoPhoenix 72
Lakestars 83, Diamond Dolphins 67
Northern Happinets 87, Golden Kings 69
In the paint
Shiga forward Henry Walker, a former NBA player for the Boston Celtics, New York Knicks and Miami Heat, notched a triple-double in Saturday’s home win over Nagoya, contributing 27 points, 15 rebounds and 11 assists for the Lakestars. In the 2010-11 season, Walker, a Kansas State product, played a career-high 61 games for the Knicks. He joined Shiga in February. … Osaka’s Josh Harrellson notched a double-double (15 points, 16 boards) against Toyama. … Hot-shooting performance: Niigata’s Nick Perkins had 27 points, including 9 of 11 from 2-point range, and hauled in 16 rebounds in a win over Hokkaido.
IN FIVE EASY PIECES WITH TAKE 5