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Liaoning rout Xinjiang to take 1-game series lead in CBA semifinals

Xinhua | Updated: 2020-08-06 09:26
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O.J. Mayo (L) of Liaoning Flying Leopards vies for the ball during the semifinal match between Liaoning Flying Leopards and Xinjiang Flying Tigers at the 2019-2020 Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) league in Qingdao, east China's Shandong province, Aug 5, 2020. [Photo/Xinhua]

QINGDAO, China - The Liaoning Flying Leopards crushed the Xinjiang Flying Tigers 116-88 here on Wednesday, grabbing a 1-0 lead in the best-of-three Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) semifinals.

Liaoning led with 18 points for a brief period and built a 34-24 advantage in the first quarter, as Han Dejun and O.J. Mayo each bagged 10 points.

Xinjiang rallied back to cut the deficit to five points, but the Flying Leopards enlarged it to 11 points at the end of the following quarter.

After Mayo and Han converted three layups in fast breaks, Liaoning extended the lead to 24 points. Xinjiang forward Tang Caiyu was injured and sent to a hospital in the third quarter.

With the biggest difference reaching 30 points in the last quarter, Liaoning continued their glittering performance and put the game beyond their opponents' reach.

Seven players scored in double digits for Liaoning, as Han collected 20 points and 13 rebounds. Mayo notched 20 points, Zhao Jiwei contributed 19 points, Guo Ailun finished with 15 points, and Liu Zhixuan had 12 points from four three-pointers.

Qi Lin got a team-high 15 points for Xinjiang. Zhou Qi took 13 points and 10 rebounds, Xiralijan Muhtar had 13 points, and Fan Ziming added 11 points.

"We played a very good game tonight, but this is only the first step. We need to prepare well for the game on Friday as it will be very difficult for us again," said Alejandro Martinez, coach of Liaoning.

"Both our defense and offense were disordered tonight, and we had as many as 23 turnovers. We must learn some lessons from this game and start to prepare for the next game," said Xinjiang coach Adiljan.

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