Tang Zhengdong scored game-high 49 points to pace Jiangsu Nangang for a 99-92 away victory over Shandong Kingston while North Division leader Liaoning suffered a home defeat in the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) league matches on Sunday.
With veteran teammate Hu Weidong sitting out the first half, Tang dominated the paint by pouring in 16 points in the opening period for a 28-23 lead, and continued his hot shots for a 48-45 advantage into the second half as forward Mack Tuck stood out to help the hosts hang on with his lay-ups and long-range shots.
In the third period, Hu Weidong made four 3-pointers to virtually seal the victory for league-leader Jiangsu who entered the last quarter 80-62 and once led by as many as 25 points in Jinan.
Simeon Halet also connected 20 points for Jiangsu.
Cheng Zhiming led Shandong with 25 points, Tuck added 23 while both Zhao Yonggang and Hou Bing scored 11 points each.
In Shenyang, Liaoning Panpan suffered its second consecutive defeat, losing 100-89 to Guangdong Hongyuan, who placed second in South Division behind Jiangsu.
Liaoning, who won their first away encounter by one point, was beaten in the paint and rebounds after its earlier lead was overtaken in the first period and never took the lead again.
Against their taller opponents, Liaoning only held its lead 18-15 for a short period before Guangdong entered the second period 26-22 en route to its eventual triumph.
Dixon Lamar Jason led Guangdong with 26 points and 13 rebounds. Du Feng and Wang Shipeng also made 22 and 20 points respectively.
Liu Xinran scored 16 points, the highest for Liaoning. Although four other players also scored double digits, they were unable to stop the potential semifinal opponents as they made only seven of 31 three-pointers.
In Kunming, league leading scorer Lee Benson netted in 41 points to pace Yunnan Honghe for a 120-102 home victory over Shaanxi Kylin, a sweet revenge for its away defeat 95-98 five weeks ago.
Despite huge efforts from Joseph Garth, Yunnan led 24-23 in the first period, enlarged to 59-48 at half break and entered the fourth period 92-65, forcing Garth to sit out the last 12 minutes for 17 points and 21 rebounds for the visitors.
Yunnan made 16 of 27 three-pointers to orchestrate the home victory as Yu Junkai and Xiao Weiguo contributed 25 and 17 points respectively.
Li Dongliang led Shaanxi with 19 points. Yang Yi and Shan Weiguo combined for 27 points for the visitors who connected only 7 of 31 attempts from the arch.
In Hangzhou, Zhejiang Cyclone lost to visiting Bayi Shuanglu 98-114 as Li Nan scored 38 points including six of 10 3-pointers.
Liu Yudong also poured in 28 points for the military club and Mo Ke added 20 points.
Samaki led Zhejiang with 22 points, while Miao Shoushou and Wu Naiqun contributed 20 and 18 points respectively.
In Urumqi, Xinjiang Guanghui scored a home win 107-99 over Henan Jigang as Coleman led five Xinjiang players to double digits. He scored 24 on 9-of-14 shots and grabbed 18 rebounds.
Lu Xiaoming and Xu Guochong combined for 45 points, including seven of 15 three-pointers.
In other two games, both Jilin and Shanghai scored their home victories. Jilin Tigers defeated Fujian Xunxing 108-85 and Shanghai Sharks outscored Beijing Ducks 93-85.
(Xinhua News Agency January 17, 2005)