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Golden Kings on a roll with four straight wins

Date Posted: 2010-12-09

Precision shooting was the key for the Ryukyu Golden Kings as they pressed the visiting Miyazaki Shining Suns twice this weekend, sweeping the two-game series and extending their win streak to four.

Playing in front of the hometown fans, Carlos Dixon set the tempo for Okinawa, scoring 22 points—including going 4-for-5 from the three-point range—Sunday after racking up 16 points and 10 rebounds a day earlier as the Golden Kings won 87-74 Saturday and 101-77 on Sunday. David Palmer tallied 17 in Sunday’s win, with Shigeyuki Kinjo picking up 16 to add to 11 points on Saturday.

Looking more like the championship caliber team of the past two seasons, Okinawa moved to 10-6 on the season while going 28-for-53 Sunday against the Shining Suns, who are playing their first season in the Basketball Japan League. It’s not the league’s longest winning streak, yet, but it’s enough to have Golden Kings coach Dai Oketani smiling as his squad maneuvers higher in Western Conference standings.

The Hamamatsu Higashimikawa Phoenix are in a class all their own, winning their 12th and 13th straight games with a pair of victories over the Saitama Broncos. The defending champion Phoenix eeked out a 73-71 win Saturday, then held on for an 84-80 victory on Sunday. The Phoenix are now 15-1, the league’s best record, as five players scored in double figures Sunday and two on Saturday. Hamamatsu’s sweep was the second this season, first taking a pair from the Broncos two weeks ago by a combined 43 points.

Elsewhere, the Kyoto Hannaryz split a pair with the Northern Happinets in games played in Noshiro, Akita Prefecture. Kyoto lost the first game 86-69, but bounced back for an 83-78 win on Sunday. The Hannaryz are now 7-9, while the Northern Happinets are 6-10. The Niigata Albirex BB took both games of a weekend series in Toyama Prefecture, upending the Toyama Grouses 80-69 and 76-72. The Albirex are even at 7-7, while the Grouses fall to 5-9.

The Shiga Lakestars shined on the home court hardwoods this weekend, cruising past the Takamatsu Five Arrows 80-73 and 93-77. Shiga’s Gary Hamilton went 13-for-17 on Sunday after scoring 16 points and 15 rebounds on Saturday. The wins propelled the Lakestars to a 12-4 record to keep the lead in the Western Conference, while the Five Arrows drop to 4-12.

In Matsue, Shimane Prefecture, the Sendai 89ers fell 15 points behind the Susanoo Magic Sunday, then rallied to win 79-77 for split the series and even the season record at 8-8. The Magic had won Saturday’s game with a convincing 82-67 demonstration of expansion team enthusiasm. The Magic is now 7-9 for the year. The Osaka Evessa split a series against the Rizing Fukuoka, extending its record to 11-5 and stayed close to the top in conference standings. It took overtime for Sunday’s 110-108 win after the Evessa blew a 10-point lead in the final stanza. Fukuoka is just behind the Evessa with an 11-6 record.

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