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Monday, Dec. 28, 2009
Evessa's late heroics topple Five Arrows
By ED ODEVEN
Last-minute drama was the name of the game on Sunday in the bj-league.
Three games were decided by two points, including the Osaka Evessa's 90-88 home win over the Takamatsu Five Arrows.
The Evessa (12-12) trailed 83-71 after Takamatsu guard Yu Okada's 3-pointer with 4:40 remaining in the fourth quarter.
Osaka went on a 19-5 run to close out the game, including a 9-0 spurt to give itself a chance to win it.
It started when Lynn Washington canned a 3-pointer with 4:25 to play. Naoto Nakamura followed with back-to-back 3-pointers to pull the Evessa within 83-80 with 2:41 left.
With 32 seconds remaining, Osaka big man Waki Williams' old-fashioned 3-point play tied it at 88-88.
Washington won the game at the free-throw line, sinking two shots with 20 seconds left. He finished with 21 points, 13 rebounds and five assists, while Williams had a 20-point, 20-rebound effort. Hirohisa Takada scored a season-best 12 points and Ryan Blackwell had 11 points, six boards and eight assists.
Michael Gardener was Takamatsu's high scorer with 32 points. Okada had 23 points and Satoshi Takeda scored 14. Terrance Farley grabbed 15 rebounds for the Five Arrows, who fell to 8-16.
Elsewhere Sunday, the Shiga Lakestars edged the Niigata Albirex BB 69-67, ending the hosts' seven-game win streak.
Point guard Takamichi Fujiwara sank two free throws with 7 seconds remaining to account for the game's final points and help the Lakestars improve to 12-12 a day after a 36-point loss to the Albirex.
After Fujiwara's clutch free throws, the Albirex (9-9) got the ball in the hands of forward Yuichi Ikeda, who missed a 3-pointer. Paul Butorac grabbed an offensive rebound and dished the ball to Antonio Burks, whose 3-pointer was off the mark with 4 seconds remaining.
Throughout the fourth quarter, neither team led by more than three points.
Gary Hamilton paced the Lakestars with 17 points and 17 rebounds, Chris Schlatter added 14 points and eight boards, Luke Zeller had a double-double (11 points, 12 boards), Bobby Nash scored 10, Fujiwara had eight and Masashi Joho seven.
For Niigata, Butorac had a 22-point, 12-rebound effort. Akitomo Takeno added 15 points and Burks scored 11.
In the previous three games, Burks was 12-for-21 from 3-point range. On Sunday, he was 1-for-7.
Matt Lottich scored 28 points to lead the visiting Oita HeatDevils to an 89-87 win over the Kyoto Hannaryz.
Ricky Woods (19 points, 13 boards), Mike Bell (17 points, 14 rebounds) Kimitake Sato (12 points) and Yukinori Suzuki (11 points, six assists) also played prominent roles in Oita's win.
The HeatDevils improved to 8-14; the Hannaryz dropped to 6-14.
Josh Bostic finished with 23 points to lead Kyoto, while John Clifford had a 20-point, 20-rebound afternoon. Jun Iwasa added 17 points and Taizo Kawabe scored 16 and hauled in 10 rebounds.
The Hamamatsu Higashimikawa Phoenix improved to a league-best 17-3, routing the visiting Toyama Grouses 100-67.
William Knight poured in a team-best 24 points for Hamamatsu, Limar Wilson scored 22 and Jermaine Green had 14.
For Toyama (8-10), Brandon Thomas was the top scorer with 18 points. Kirby Lemons had 17 points and 13 boards and Takeshi Mito scored 11.
The Ryukyu Golden Kings, meanwhile, earned a series split, defeating the host Rizing Fukuoka 72-69.
Tsubasa Yonamine scored a team-high 15 points for Ryukyu.