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Yao Returns, China Wins
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Houston Rockets center Yao Ming sunk 12 points and six rebounds on Monday, leading China to a 69-56 victory in the first match of a two-leg warm-up series with the Aussie side, Melbourne Tigers.



Yi Jianlian, who will be bound for the NBA in the coming season, scored the team's highest 19 points with 10 rebounds, while Wang Shipeng contributed eight in the game in south China's Shenzhen city.


The win ensured that China could finally break their losing streak, following consecutive losses in international events. The team only clinched six wins in 23 matches without Yao Ming.


It was Yao's first formal game after a honeymoon with Ye Li, also a basketballer from the women's national team.


China grabbed seven wins out of 10 clashes with the Tigers since 2003.


The Chinese failed to pick up their form after the game started while the Aussies managed a 5-0 surge before concluding the opening quarter 16-12.


With a three pointer from Liu Wei and a dunk from Yi, China reversed it 17-16 just seconds into the second period, during which they consolidated the lead and widened the gap to 32-26 by the end.


The home side went on to attack in the third quarter and left no chance for the rivals to hit back after notching up a 45-30 edge.


The two sides will head to Macao for their second clash on Wednesday.


(CRI September 4, 2007)

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