BEIJING, Jan. 25 (Rahnuma): Trailing for almost three quarters, defending champions Liaoning Flying Leopard launched a late comeback to upset hosts Guangzhou Long Lions 101-91, extending their winning streak to team-record 24 games.
Liaoning waited for nearly 35 minutes for their first lead 67-66 in the whole game. Guangzhou were so well prepared for Liaoning’s attacking tactics that they only allowed the defending champions to pocket 14 points in the first quarter. The hosts’ defense rotation, along with their double-and triple-teams tactics, effectively contained Liaoning’s scorers including Hudson, who only got six points in 32 minutes.
It was Liaoning’s typical full-court trapping defense that initiated the late comeback. Within the last two minutes of the third quarter, Liaoning forced the hosts into two consecutive turnovers, both of which were turned into scorings for Liaoning. Guo Ailun made a buzz hitter from downtown, giving the visitors to a 70-66 advantage before the final 12 minutes.
Guangzhou broke down, falling behind by as many as 15 points in the middle of the last quarter. They narrowed the gap to nine points after Yao Tianyi hit a three-pointer with less than three minutes left, but it was too late to make another comeback.
In other three games that would impact the playoff picture on Friday, Jiangsu Dragons climbed to the 11th position on the table after beating Beijing Aolong Fly Dragon 113-103. Jilin Northeast Tigers jumped to the 10th after overcoming Nanjing Tongxi Dasheng 112-100, and Fujian Sturgeon remained seventh despite losing to Shandong Golden Stars 120-111.
Elsewhere in Nanchang, Beijing Ducks beat Bayi Rockets 85-71.