Thirdy Ravena and the San-En NeoPhoenix couldn’t end their slide in the Japan B.League after absorbing a 94-87 road loss to the Shiga Lakestars Saturday, April 10, in Otsu, Japan.
The NeoPhoenix couldn’t sustain a nine-point third quarter lead as the Lakestars came back behind the hot-shooting of former NBA player Jordan Hamilton to suffer their seventh straight defeat.
Ravena scored 14 points on 5-of-8 shooting with three rebounds and two steals but his efforts were not enough as San-En dropped to 11-41 with eight games left in the season.
He also had to leave the game with 1:28 to go in the fourth quarter after an inadvertent elbow to side of the head by Hamilton during an inbound situation.
San-En looked poised to arrest the skid and hand Ravena his first victory since returning from a fractured right finger when it led 55-48 on a basket by import Kyle Hunt with under eight minutes left in the third.
But Shiga inched its way back to take a 67-66 lead entering the fourth before Hamilton sizzled for 17 points in the fourth.
Two back-to-back threes by Hamilton allowed the Lakestars to take a 90-81 lead with 2:22 to go in the fourth quarter.
Hamilton, who played for the Denver Nuggets, Houston Rockets, Los Angeles Clippers and New Orleans Pelicans, finished with 34 points, six rebounds and 11 assists as Shiga improved to 18-32.
Hunt had 26 points and seven rebounds while Serbian center Stevan Jelovac added 16 points, six rebounds and two assists for San-En, which will try to bounce back against the same team at 1 p.m. Sunday afternoon, April 11.