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Five Arrows trim Golden Kings lead to one game

Date Posted: 2009-02-18

The Ryukyu Golden Kings won its first four games against the Takamatsu Five Arrows this season, but ran into a red hot squad over the weekend that burned them twice.

The Five Arrows stretched its win streak to nine with a pair of home court wins over Okinawa, 85-70 and 76-73, drawing to within one game of the Western Conference leaders. The Golden Kings are now 24-8. The four Five Arrow defeats earlier in the season were all close, including two one-point losses to the Golden Kings in consecutive games November 8th and 9th.

Kazuyuki Nakagawa was a big gun for the Five Arrows, scoring 15 points Saturday and another 22 on Sunday. Nakagawa had played for Takamatsu two seasons ago, and since his return eight games ago, Five Arrows has not lost. Okinawa’s Shigeyuki Kinjo, who fired off 25 points on Saturday, shot a dismal 2-for-8 Sunday, scoring only seven points. Chris Ayer picked up 27 points in Sunday’s loss for Okinawa.

The Tokyo Apache bounced back from a four-game losing streak, winning a pair from the Toyama Grouse to move within one game of the Hamamatsu Higashimikawa Phoenix, who ousted them from their first place perch a few weeks ago. Tokyo boosted its record to 20-12 with blowout 96-72 and 103-82 wins over the Grouse.

The Eastern Conference leaders, the Hamamatsu Higashimikawa Phoenix, had an easy weekend on the road, snatching a pair of wins from the Niigata Albirex BB, 81-63 and 97-69. Seven Phoenix players racked up at least eight points in the Sunday contest, including Michael Gardener’s 23.

Elsewhere, the Oita HeatDevils pulled off a pair of wins over the Shiga Lakestars, including a down-to-the-wire 73-69 win Saturday. Yukinori Suzuki pulled the win out of the fire for the HeatDevils with a pair of three-point scores in the final minute of play. Sunday’s HeatDevils win was a much easier 75-63 contest.

The Sendai 89ers managed to split a pair on home court this weekend, losing Saturday to the Saitama Broncos 88-69, then rallying for a 94-79 Sunday afternoon victory. The Osaka Evessa also shared the win-loss columns by taking one from Rizing Fukuoka on Saturday, 101-89, then losing 109-100 on Sunday. Sunday’s contest saw 66 points scored by the two squads in the fourth quarter.

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