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Monday, March 29, 2010
Toothless Broncos fail to find home comfort
By ED ODEVEN
Few professional sports teams play two home games at two different sites on consecutive days. But that was the Saitama Broncos' predicament over the weekend.
The Broncos had a horrendous offensive game on Sunday, losing 73-53 to the Niigata Albirex BB in Kasukabe, Saitama Prefecture.
Saitama (13-27) scored only six points in the second quarter and nine in the fourth en route to its sixth straight loss.
The Broncos dropped their series opener 82-70 on Saturday in Chichibu, Saitama Prefecture.
Calvin Chitwood paced Niigata (20-20) with 20 points and added nine rebounds. Takato Saito chipped in with 10 points, Paul Butorac scored nine and grabbed eight rebounds and Uche Echefu hauled in 10 boards for the Albirex.
For Saitama, Taishiro Shimizu had a team-high 11 points and Kazuya Hatano scored 10.
Elsewhere in the bj-league, Wayne Arnold scored 21 points to lead the Hamamatsu Higashimikawa Phoenix to an 84-76 win over the host Toyama Grouses.
Wendell White scored 16 points and Dzaflo Larkai had 15 points and seven boards. Jermaine Green added 12 points and eight boards for the Phoenix (32-8).
For the Grouses (14-26), Brandon Thomas had a 16-point, 12-rebound, seven-assist effort, while Bilal Abdullah and Brian Harper scored 14 apiece.
Toyama lost its fifth straight game.
The Rizing Fukuoka, meanwhile, completed a series sweep, beating the visiting Kyoto Hannaryz 75-65.
Michael Parker scored a team-high 26 points and pulled down nine rebounds for Fukuoka (26-16). Kohei Mitomo scored 11 and Marlyn Bryant added nine, while Tsuyoshi Kawazura had a productive outing at the point (six points, five rebounds, seven assists).
Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf led the Hannaryz (14-26) with 24 points. He buried 3 of 6 3-point shots and was 5-for-6 from the free-throw line. Jun Iwasa added 14 points and five assists, John Clifford scored 13 and grabbed 14 rebounds and Reda Rhalimi had 10 points and 13 boards in the Hannaryz' fifth straight defeat.
Kyoto captain Naoto Takushi, the team's starting point guard and a member of the league's Best Five Team the past two seasons, did not play. He scored three points in 13 minutes on Saturday.
The Oita HeatDevils bounced back from a Saturday loss to hand the host Ryukyu Golden Kings a 78-71 defeat.
Mike Bell led the HeatDevils with 22 points and grabbed nine rebounds, Matt Lottich scored 16 and Ricky Woods added 12 points and 13 boards. Yukinori Suzuki and Kimitake Sato scored 10 points apiece for Oita (21-23).
Anthony McHenry was Ryukyu's top scorer (18 points). George Leach had a 15-point, 12-rebound performance and Tsubasa Yonamine and Bryan Simpson each scored nine. A day after scoring 27 points and six dunks, Golden Kings center Kevin Steenberge was held to eight points and two dunks.
Ryukyu, the 2009-10 league champion, fell to 27-15, but remains ahead of second-place Fukuoka in the Western Conference standings.
The Osaka Evessa extended their winning streak to six games, edging the Takamatsu Five Arrows 91-89.
The Five Arrows trailed 73-64 entering the fourth quarter, but failed to take the lead at any point during the final 10 minutes.
David Palmer had a team-high 17 points for Osaka (24-16) and Hirohisa Takada and Lynn Washington scored 16 apiece, while Ryan Blackwell chipped in with a double-double (15 points 14 rebounds).
For Takamatsu (11-31), Antoine Broxsie scored 28 points and Yu Okada had 26, including 7-for-14 shooting from 3-point range.