Zhejiang hold off Liaoning, front court duo shine in Xinjiang’s win

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Wu Qian took center stage as the Zhejiang Golden Bulls withstood the Liaoning Flying Leopards’ comeback in the fourth quarter to win 101-90, while the post combination of Zhou Qi and Fan Ziming helped the Xinjiang Flying Tigers pull off a 102-82 victory over the Qingdao Eagles in the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) league on Saturday.

With Liaoning cutting the deficit to three points with 2:58 remaining, Wu scored seven points in a row and Zhejiang pulled away again. The Chinese international finished with 28 points.

Three-point shooting was Zhejiang’s key to the victory, as they scored 36 points from beyond the arc, 15 more than their opponents. Zhu Xuhang contributed 29 points and 12 boards. Zhang Dayu and Wang Yibo added 16 and 15 points respectively.

Liaoning had another game of typical early sluggishness. They trailed by 16 points heading into the final period, while buckling up defense and gradually narrowing the gap, but that was halted by Wu’s heroic display.

O.J. Mayo finished a double-double of 32 points and 10 rebounds for Liaoning in his third CBA match, but the former NBA player got limited help from his teammates. Guo Ailun and Han Dejun scored 15 points apiece, but Han was troubled by early fouls while Guo rediscovered his form too late.

“It’s not a matter of technique. It’s a matter of lacking fighting spirit,” Liaoning’s head coach Guo Shiqiang lamented.

In their third encounter in eight days, Xinjiang came out winners again. Zhou recorded a game-high 35 points and 17 rebounds. Fan helped with 18 points and 11 boards.

Xinjiang opened the scoring to build a 10-point lead in the first quarter. Despite playing on home court, Qingdao failed to erase the deficit. The first half ended 50-39 to Xinjiang, who kept the lead for the rest of the contest.

In the second half, Qingdao never had the chance to cut the deficit to single digits. Xinjiang sealed the victory early in the last period with tough defense.

Five Qingdao players scored in double digits, led by promising center Liu Chuanxing’s 14.

Outscoring their opponents 42-34 in rebounds, 23-11 in assists and 10-5 in three-pointers, the Sichuan Blue Whale handed the Shandong Heroes third straight defeat 79-68.

Sichuan’s center Li Yuanyu posted a double-double of 18 points and 17 rebounds in 48 minutes of play. Point guard Yuan Tangwen delivered a game-high 14 assists.

Also on Saturday, Li Muhao’s block in clutch time helped the Shenzhen Aviators edge the Shanxi Loongs 90-88. 

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