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Saturday, Dec. 24, 2011

Albirex beat Jets in series opener

Staff report

All-Star center Chris Holm notched his 11th double-double of the season and Erron Maxey scored 19 points to lead the Niigata Albirex BB to a 93-80 win over the Chiba Jets on Friday night in the bj-league.

Nile Murry and Yuichi Ikeda scored 16 points apiece for the Albirex (11-8), who have won three straight games. Holm had 10 points and 19 rebounds. Hirotaka Kondo scored a season-high 12 points, Dwight Gordon added nine points and five assists and Shuhei Komatsu dished out six assists.

Niigata led 53-35 at halftime.

Ikeda, who leads the 19-team league in 3-point shooting accuracy at 51.5 percent (51-for-99), was 4-for-7 from beyond the arc at Funabashi Arena.

Maurice Hargrow led the Jets (10-11) with 25 points. Jamel Staten scored 18, Takaki Ishida added 12 points and Reina Itakura and Gaston Moliva had nine apiece for Chiba, a first-year franchise.

"We played really poor defense in the first half, allowing so many open shots and eight 3s," Jets coach Eric Gardow said.

Gardow said his team's rebounding effort wasn't good enough. Niigata outrebounded the hosts 52-41. Jamal Holden and Moliva combined for eight rebounds.

"I expect more out of Holden and Moliva," the coach added. "We need an inside presence in every game at both ends of the floor and we are not getting it from them and that has to change.

"We made a great run and cut it to 5 in the second half but could not finish."

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