Source: China State Council Information Office
The Zhejiang Golden Bulls came from behind to beat local rivals the Zhejiang Lions 113-104 for their fifth consecutive win in the 2020-21 Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) on Tuesday.
Wu Qian, shaking off a sluggish start, made two 3-pointers in the closing minutes to help the Golden Bulls sit alone on top of the table with a 5-0 record.
“We studied our opponent as a team and also their individual players before the match. Perhaps we gave ourselves too much pressure in this derby and thanks to our preparations, we were able to clinch the victory at last,” said the 26-year-old Wu, who has been marshalling the youngest team of the league this season.
Both sides showed their determination to win with tenacious defense right from the tip off, which in turn resulted in low offensive efficiency and 15 turnovers combined for the two sides in the first quarter, where the Golden Bulls led by 20-18.
Center Miroslav Radulica was sent on in the second quarter to lead the Lions’ offensive charge and protect the board, and they erupted for a 15-1 run to turn the table 36-27. The Golden Bulls cut their deficit to one point in the last two minutes of the first half 40-41, as their playmaker guard Wu, who had been struggling with six turnovers, finally rounded into form, sinking two consecutive threes after missing the previous four attempts beyond the arc.
Trailing by 42-47 in a productive third quarter, Wu and Wang Yibo, who were the engines behind the Golden Bulls’ four straight wins, powered their team to a 9-0 run for a 73-72 lead. The game seesawed as Sun Minghui and Hu Jinqiu contributed to the Lions firepower while their opponents took advantage of their quick squad for fastbreak points.
Both sides had two of their key players fouled out less than three minutes on the clock when the Golden Bulls led by 101-97. Sun made one of the two freethrows before Wu assisted Zhu Xuhang for a layup and connected beyond the arc to put the Golden Bulls 106-98 ahead. The 26-year-old killed the suspense 113-102 with his fifth 3-pointer in this game.
Wu scored a game-high 37 points, eight rebounds and 12 assists for the Golden Bulls, joined by Wang’s 24 points. Hu had a double-double of 25 points and 13 rebounds and Sun notched 22 points for the Lions. Radulica had 20 before fouling out in the fourth quarter.
“Overall we had a good performance, but we were sloppy in the last half of the fourth quarter. We made mistakes that should have been avoided and failed to seize the chances when crunch time hit. This is what we should learn from this match,” Lions coach Li Chunjiang said.
The Golden Bulls will play their next match on Friday against the Shenzhen Aviators, who are 12th on the 20-team table with a 2-3 record.