Xu Jiahan (L) of Qingdao Eagles competes during the round of 12 match between Shandong Heroes and Qingdao Eagles at the 2019-2020 Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) league in Qingdao, east China's Shandong Province, July 31, 2020. (Xinhua/Zhu Zheng)
QINGDAO, China, July 31 (Xinhua) -- The 39-year-old Zhang Qingpeng collected 37 points and five assists here on Friday, but his Shandong Heroes still lost to the Qingdao Eagles 129-120 and were knocked out in the first round of the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) playoffs.
Falling behind by two points after the first quarter, Qingdao outscored the Heroes by 13 points in the following period, as Wang Qingming made two three-pointers and a dunk in a row.
Veteran guard Zhang took center stage in the second half, as he contributed 13 points and five assists in the third quarter to help Shandong cut the deficit to four points for a brief period.
Zhang continued fighting hard in the last quarter, but Qingdao enlarged the gap to over 10 points again after Shandong's center Jia Cheng was fouled out.
Wang hit another three-pointer with 50 seconds remaining, and Lin Weihan made a layup from a steal to secure the victory for Qingdao, who will face defending champions the Guangdong Southern Tigers in the quarterfinals next Monday.
Seven Qingdao players scored double digits. Wang finished with 25 points, including six three-pointers out of nine, Jiao Hailong had 21 points and 11 rebounds, and Yang Jinmeng got 20 points.
"The young guys did a great job tonight. They didn't give up when falling behind, and took the responsibility in crucial moments," said Qingdao coach Wu Qinglong.
Shandong center Tao Hanlin bagged 33 points and 10 rebounds, Jia notched 15 points and 10 rebounds, and Li Honghan added 11 points.
"We lost the game because of details tonight. After the league resumed, the losses pointed to our weaknesses and showed the direction for our efforts," said Gong Xiaobin, coach of Shandong. Enditem