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Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2010
Washington's clutch free throws secure win for Evessa
By ED ODEVEN
Lynn Washington scored a game-high 30 points, including a pair of free throws with 2 seconds remaining, in the Osaka Evessa's 89-87 road win over the Tokyo Apache on Tuesday night.
The Apache rallied back from an 85-74 deficit with 3:59 remaining at Yoyogi National Gymnasium No. 2. And Tokyo center Julius Ashby's 3-point play made it 87-87 with 17 seconds left.
But that left plenty of time for Washington, a two-time bj-league MVP, to provide the final late-game heroics on the night.
Indeed, it was a memorable night for the Evessa and their supporters — for more than one reason. Osaka head coach Kensaku Tennichi served a one-game suspension on Tuesday after criticizing officials on Monday, but the veteran team gave their coach a much-desired series split.
Tokyo (10-20 overall, 3-11 at home), which won the series opener 89-82 on Monday, plays on the road this weekend against the Oita HeatDevils.
The Evessa (17-15), the Western Conference's third-place club, play host to the Ryukyu Golden Kings in a clash of teams with all four bj-league championship trophies, with Osaka having ownership of the first three.
Washington scored 15 first-half points to lead all players, but Tokyo held a 40-38 advantage entering the third quarter.
Evessa point guard Nile Murry finished with 18 points, nine rebounds and nine assists. His counterpart, Apache floor leader Rasheed Sparks, also just missed out on a triple-double, ending the game with nine points, nine boards and eight assists.
Shota Konno scored 11 points and Ryan Blackwell had nine for Osaka, while Jun Nakanishi had a seven-point outing against his former club (2005-07).
For Tokyo, Cohey Aoki and Michael Chappell each scored 18 points. Ashby added 15 points, eight rebounds and four blocked shots and forward Jerrell Smith, playing his sixth game for the Apache, had a season-high 12 points and six rebounds.
Takanori Goya and Shoji Nakanishi had five points apiece for the Apache, and Chappell also pulled down nine rebounds.