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Monday, Nov. 23, 2009

BJ-LEAGUE

Phoenix beat Grouses, send message to rivals


Staff writer

With a convincing series sweep of the Toyama Grouses culminating with Sunday's 81-66 triumph, the Hamamatsu Higashimikawa Phoenix have delivered a clear message to the rest of the bj-league's Eastern Conference.

The message?

The Phoenix are the conference's elite team unless proven otherwise.

Wendell White scored 34 points and outworked and outhustled his foes to collect 16 rebounds, leading Hamamatsu to its 11th victory in 12 games. William Knight chipped in with 23 points and six boards, while Atsuya Ota scored nine points on 3-for-3 shooting from the field and 3-for-4 at the line.

Makoto Kato paced the Grouses (5-5) with 19 points. Kenya Tomori and Kirby Lemons scored 12 points apiece.

Also Sunday, the defending champion Ryukyu Golden Kings earned a home sweep, beating Western Conference nemesis Osaka Evessa 82-77.

Shigeyuki Kinjo led the Golden Kings with 21 points, including a 10-for-12 effort at the free-throw line. George Leach and Jeff Newton, former Indiana University teammates, scored 15 points apiece and Bryan Simpson poured in 11 points. Anthony McHenry added six points, 10 rebounds and four assists.

McHenry was one of seven Ryukyu players with five or more rebounds.

The first-place Golden Kings improved to 7-3. The Evessa slipped to 7-5.

Lynn Washington scored a team-high 29 points and hauled in 11 boards for Osaka. Nile Murry added 22 points and David Palmer had 12 for the Evessa.

The Saitama Broncos, meanwhile, completed a two-game sweep by beating the visiting Sendai 89ers 79-77.

The Broncos (6-8) jumped out to a 31-14 lead after one quarter and held on for a pulse-rising victory.

Yuki Kitamuki, who made 7 of 14 3-pointers over the weekend, was Saitama's top scorer with 18 points, followed by Terrence Woodyard's 16. Terrence Roberts and Haruhito Shishito added 13 points apiece and Andrew Arnold had 12.

Demetrius Guions and Chris Holm both had 20-point performances in the loss and Gyno Pomare chipped in with a double-double (17 points, 13 rebounds) as the 89ers fell to 9-5.

Elsewhere, Michael Parker scored the go-ahead basket with 1:47 left in the fourth quarter to carry the Rizing Fukuoka to a 69-65 road win over the Kyoto Hannaryz.

Parker finished with 20 points and nine rebounds as the Rizing improved to 9-5. Kohei Mitomo had a 13-point outing, followed by Marlyn Bryant's 12 and Richard Ford Jr.'s 10.

For Kyoto (3-9), Josh Bostic had a team-high 31 points, seven rebounds and eight assists. Reda Rhalimi grabbed 16 rebounds and Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf scored 12, but the Hannaryz extended their losing streak to seven games.

Albert denies 50 fight

NEW YORK (AP) Marv Albert said Saturday he was never involved in an altercation with 50 Cent, denying Internet reports of a fight on "Jimmy Kimmel Live."

According to the reports, punches were thrown after members of the rapper's entourage didn't recognize Albert, the longtime sports broadcaster who was appearing as a guest on the show on Wednesday night.

But Albert said he was not even close to the exchange, which he believed was caused when a member of 50 Cent's party was prevented by show security from using a phone in the room that was supposed to belong to Albert.

"I couldn't even tell you what the guy looked like or the security guard looked like," Albert said.

Albert said he even read one account that he was punched by 50 Cent, who was the show's musical guest, but insisted they never crossed paths.

"They embellish. It keeps getting embellished more than anything else," Albert said. "What do you say, it's just wrong."



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