The Chiba Jets wrapped up a perfect January in league play by topping the Shimane Susanoo Magic on Friday night.
The Jets’ 90-79 victory, their ninth straight, included veteran forward Michael Parker’s 27-point, 15-rebound, five-assist, two-steal, two-block performance in Matsue, Shimane Prefecture.
Parker made 12 of 17 shots from the field, including 10 of 14 from inside the 3-point arc.
“I think it was a good match,” Parker told reporters after the game. “The situation changed a bit and I started to score.”
Reflecting on his return to Matsue, Parker, a former Shimane standout, describe the scene as one in which he was “warmly welcomed” by the fans.
Chiba (24-10) led 30-19 after the first quarter.
Parker had 20 points in the first half, helping the Jets take a 51-44 lead into the intermission.
Backup forward Nick Mayo, a rookie, poured in 23 points for the Jets. Koh Flippin added 10 points, five assists and three steals, Shigehiro Taguchi had nine points and playmaker Yuki Togashi contributed eight points and seven assists.
Robert Carter paced Shimane (10-24) with 28 points and 13 rebounds.
Brave Thunders 86, Alvark 76
In Kawasaki, the hosts outplayed the two-time defending champions in a clash of title contenders in their highly anticipated series opener.
Nick Fazekas led Kawasaki with 30 points and handed out six assists. Yuma Fujii poured in 24 points, including 7-for-7 at the foul line, and dished out six helpers. Naoto Tsuji had 11 points and recorded six assists, while Jordan Heath contributed 12 points and nine boards for the Brave Thunders (27-7).
Tokyo (25-9) took a 37-35 lead into the third quarter.
Alvark center Alex Kirk scored 23 points and pulled down 15 boards. Milan Macvan added 14 points, Daiki Tanaka had 12 and Shohei Kikuchi 10. Starting point guard Seiya Ando was held to six points on 3-for-7 shooting.