Liaoning wins Game 1 of 2017-2018 season CBA Finals

Source: Xinhua| 2018-04-15 23:09:28|Editor: Mu Xuequan
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HANGZHOU, China, April 15 (Xinhua) -- The Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) powerhouse Liaoning clinched a 120-108 away victory over regular season champion Guangsha, leading 1-0 in the best-of-seven CBA finals here on Sunday.

Liaoning had played six CBA finals series in the league's 22-year history, but lost all of them and was still fighting for its first CBA title.

The injury to center Su Ruoyu became a harsh blow to Guangsha who was out-rebounded 47-36, and made six more turnovers than Liaoning.

Liaoning forward Brandon Bass wrapped up the team-best 28 points and 10 rebounds. Point guard Guo Ailun and Lester Hudson added 27 and 23 respectively.

"We played great defense, helped each other and everybody played great," said Hudson at the post-game press conference.

During the first quarter, Liaoning was hot on the three-point line, making six of its 10 attempts beyond the arc. Guo, the Chinese national team point guard, exploited the fast breaks to pour in 10 points, including a pair of 3-pionters.

Lagging behind 32-21 into the second quarter, Guangsha found their rhythm and even overtook the lead, with Courtney Fortson and Zhao Yanhao knocking down straight 3-pointers.

Liaoning managed to win back the lead and led 54-53 into the second half where the game turned physical.

Through tough defense, Liaoning enlarged the gap to double digits after Zhao Jiwei's 3-pointer, and led 88-79 into the final period.

Liaoning once led by 18 points, only to see the host team cut the deficit to seven, which was the closest Guangsha could make since then.

Fortson had a game-best 33 points for Guangsha. Lin Chih Chieh made eight 3-pointers for 24 points.

"We had enough time to prepare for the finals, and the whole team played well both defensively and offensively," said Liaoning coach Guo Shiqiang.

"Liaoning is a strong team who made into the Finals three times in the previous four seasons," said Guangsha head coach Li Chunjiang.

"They get a lot of experience and we simply didn't play well."

Game 2 will remain in Hangzhou on Tuesday.