By Zha Minjie and Ni Yinbin | 2013-1-28 | NEWSPAPER EDITION
Qingdao Eagles' Tracy McGrady (right) has the ball knocked away by Xinjiang Flying Tigers' Zhang Qingpeng during their CBA game in Qingdao yesterday.
Photo by Xinhua
A CLASH between two of the Chinese Basketball Association's top teams, the Guangdong Southern Tigers and the Shanghai Sharks, last night revealed the chasm that separates the two as Shanghai flopped in the fourth quarter again, losing 72-97 at home
Shanghai, with an 8-19 record, lost its third straight and sits second from bottom in the 17-team league, just above the Qingdao Eagles which also lost yesterday. Guangdong (23-3), on the other hand, continues to lead the league with its 13th straight victory.
Former NBA player Yi Jianlian notched a game-high 26 points and eight rebounds for the Tigers while the Sharks' two American stars, Gilbert Arenas and D.J. White, combined for 41 points but failed to stop the team's skid. Shanghai skipper Liu Wei was absent due to a thigh injury.
"We played a terrible fourth quarter, it was a tragedy," said Shanghai's interim head coach Wang Qun. "We lost too many rebounds, starting from the third quarter, and didn't play good defense.
"In defense, our players shouldn't have switched too many times, while on offense we made too many tough shots which were not good opportunities.
"It was a good lesson tonight."
Guangdong led from the start. The Sharks, however, almost forced a rally in the third quarter when they narrowed the gap to five points, having trailed by 14 after the first half at 37-51. However, the fourth period turned into a nightmare for the hosts as they only had six points, with the seven-time CBA champions going on a 21-0 run to seal the game.
"We defended Arenas pretty well in the second half and on offense we played good team basketball," said Du Feng, assistant coach of Guangdong.
Du had special praise for Yi, who played 41 minutes last night. "Yi plays a very important role in our team; he is very professional in both training and during games."
Elsewhere, the Eagles lost to the Xinjiang Flying Tigers 115-122 despite Tracy McGrady's 26 points; the Jiangsu Dragons scored a surprise 105-94 win over defending champions the Beijing Ducks; the Liaoning Jiebao defended their home court with a tough 119-117 win over the Zhejiang Golden Bulls; the Zhejiang Lions beat the Tianjin Gold Lions 105-83; the Shanxi Brave Dragons lost to the Shandong Flaming Bulls 101-109; the Dongguan Leopards defeated the Jilin Northeast Tigers 116-104; and the Fujian Sturgeons lost to the Bayi Rockets 95-101.
Shanghai's next home game will be on February 15 against Jilin.