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Weekend sweep pushes Golden Kings to 13-3

Date Posted: 2009-12-17

The Ryukyu Golden Kings stretched their Western Conference lead in the Basketball Japan League, racking up a pair of weekend winds over the Oita HeatDevils to extend their record to 13-3.

The wins give Okinawa the best record in the Western Conference. Five Golden Kings were in double figures Saturday as they drubbed the HeatDevils 93-72 on their home court. Jeff Newton tallied 22 points and 14 rebounds, while Anthony McHenry scored 17, Bryan Simpson 14, Taketo Aoki and George Leach 12 each. Okinawa’s Shigeyuki Kinjo remains sidelined with a knee injury. Doctors say the shooting guard could be sidelined the remainder of the season.

The Golden Kings won again Sunday, 74-70,although Oita made it more of a contest. Jeff Newton picked up 15 pointgs while teammate Tsubasa YHonamine scored a season-high 214 and Yosuku Sugawara had 12 points. Oita now stands at 7-11 on the season.

Elsewhere in the BJ League, the Niigata Albirex BB hauled themselves out of the Eastern Conference cellar with a pair of wins over the struggling Osaka Evessa. Niigata did it 90-7u0 on Saturday behind the 22 points and 17 rebounds play of Paul Butorac. Tyrone Levette scored 20 and Butorac 17 as the Albirex BB picked up a Sunday win, 87-82. The Albirex BB have won four straight, and are now 6-8 for the year. Osaka is 8-10.

The Eastern Conference leaders, the Hamamatsu Higashimikawa Phoenix, split a pair with the Sendai 89ers, winning Saturday in an 83-82 squeaker, then falling Sunday 91-86. The Phoenix are now 15-3, and 3-1 in play against the 89ers. Sendai is 11-7 on the season.

The Tokyo Apache lost its third and fourth straight games, falling to the Toyama Grouses 99-94 and 75-61 on Toyama’s home court. Tokyo has only two off days to prepare to face the league’s defending champion, the Ryukyu Golden Kings, who’ll slip into Tokyo for a midweek series at Tokyo Yoyogi National Gymnasium. Tokyo is now 5-11, while Toyama improves to 7-7 with the two victories.

The Kyoto Hannaryz split a home court series with the Takamatsu Five Arrows, winning Saturday 90-88, only to lose Sunday 97-90. The Hannaryz are now 5-11, while Takamatsu boosts its record to 7-13. Former NBA guard Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf, the league’s top off-season signing, picked up 22 points for the Hannaryz on Saturday, but did not play on Sunday.

Masashi Joho couldn’t do anything right for the Shiga Lakestars Saturday loss to Rizing Fukuoka 66-54. Joho failed on all four three-point attempts, but turned it around Sunday by dropped in 4 of 5 three-pointers to lead his Lakestars to an 87-84 win. He finished with a game-high 23, boosting the Lakestars record to 9-11. Rizing Fukuoka is now 12-8.

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