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Golden Kings split pair as Newton returns to lineup

Date Posted: 2010-04-16

The Ryukyu Golden Kings welcomed Jeff Newton back to the starting lineup after being out with injuries for months, splitting a pair of games against Fukuoka Rizing.

The Golden Kings took Saturday’s contest 77-73, but lost by six, 71-65 as they pressed their season record to 28-18, not enough to regain the Western Conference lead captured a week ago by the surging Osaka Evessa. Osaka ran its consecutive game win streak to ten over the weekend to sit at 28-16 as the regular season moves into its last weeks.

“All our team members got extra energy to fight as we had Jeff Newton on the court,” said Okinawa’s head coach of Saturday’s win, adding “we didn’t draw personal power on Sunday.” Newton, the Golden Kings’ regular season and playoffs MVP last year, returned to action for the first time since suffering a shoulder injury on January 23rd. He scored four points Saturday and 16 on Sunday.

Osaka swept a pair from the Shiga Lakestars, now fourth in the Western Conference standings. Sunday’s victory, their tenth in a row, 71-66.

Elsewhere in league action, the Saitama Broncos suffered their 10th consecutive defeat, including six losses by double digits, to the Hamamatsu Higashimikawa Phoenix. The Broncos were drubbed 93-60 on Saturday and 80-55 on Sunday. The Eastern Conference leading Phoenix are now 35-9.

The Niigata Albirex BB took a series split, whipping the Sendai 89ers 84-58 on Sunday. The 89ers, with a 30-14 record, was stunned, having won Saturday 89-68. The Oita HeatDevils swept a pair from the Kyoto Hannaryz, evening their record at 23-23. Their Sunday win was an 81-64 win.

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