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Monday, Jan. 25, 2010
Abdul-Rauf sinks last-gasp shot to lift Hannaryz over Golden Kings
By ED ODEVEN
For the second straight day, veteran guard Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf stole the spotlight.
This time, Abdul-Rauf buried a game-winning shot with 5 seconds remaining to give the expansion Kyoto Hannaryz a 68-66 win on Sunday over the Ryukyu Golden Kings.
The win gave Kyoto (11-15) a series sweep against the Western Conference-leading Golden Kings (19-9), who lost reigning MVP Jeff Newton to an unspecified injury on Saturday and missed his presence in the rematch.
Abdul-Rauf, a 40-year-old former NBA guard, had missed nine straight games entering this series due to a leg injury. But now, for all intents and purposes, his clutch shot gives the Hannaryz a positive vibe entering the All-Star break.
Rookie forward Josh Bostic scored a game-high 23 points and raked in eight rebounds for Kyoto, while point guard Naoto Takushi scored eight.
For Ryukyu, George Leach finished with 20 points. Teammate Yosuke Sugawara added 14 points and nine boards, Tsubasa Yonamine poured in 10 and Bryan Simpson had eight points and seven rebounds.
Elsewhere in the bj-league, the Shiga Lakestars routed the host Takamatsu Five Arrows for the second straight day, posting a 97-63 triumph.
Shiga (15-15) led 31-4 after one quarter and 55-14 at the break.
Seven Lakestars, including Gary Hamilton (22 points), Bobby Nash (18) and Masashi Joho (14), scored seven or more points.
Michael Gardener paced the Five Arrows (8-20) with 21 points. Waki Williams had 12 points and Kazuhiro Shoji added 11.
The Oita HeatDevils earned a series split, beating the host Osaka Evessa 93-86.
Mike Bell was the top scorer for Oita, finishing with 27 points to go along with 17 rebounds. Ricky Woods had a 21-point, 14-rebound effort, Matt Lottich scored 20 and Yukinori Suzuki had eight points and five assists for the HeatDevils (12-16).
David Palmer had 21 points for the Evessa (12-14) and Lynn Washington scored 19. In only his second appearance of the season, Michael Katsuhisa had six points on 3-for-4 shooting.
The host Niigata Albirex BB cruised to an 86-56 home win over the Toyama Grouses.
Paul Butorac scored a team-best 17 points and grabbed nine rebounds for the Albirex (13-13). Frontcourt mate Uche Echefu added 14 points and 11 boards and Yuichi Ikeda scored 12.
For Toyama (10-14), Makoto Kato put 15 points on the board and Brandon Thomas had 14.
In Asahikawa, Hokkaido, meanwhile, the Hamamatsu Higashimikawa Phoenix returned to form with an 86-56 demolition of the Tokyo Apache.
Hamamatsu's Wendell White torched the Apache for 25 points, adding 11 boards and six assists for good measure. William Knight scored 17, Jermaine Green poured in 16 and Masahiro Oguchi had 14 for Kazuo Nakamura's club, which improved to its league-best record to 21-5.
Julius Ashby and Cohey Aoki finished with 19 points apiece for Tokyo.