Jared Sullinger of Shenzhen Leopards goes for a lay up during the 37th round match between Liaoning Flying Leopards and Shenzhen Leopards at the 2022-2023 season of the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) league in Shenyang, northeast China's Liaoning province, March 19, 2023. (PHOTO / XINHUA)
BEIJING - Jared Sullinger pocketed 23 points and 13 rebounds as the Shenzhen Aviators rallied past the Guangdong Southern Tigers 98-95 in the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) league on Friday.
Guangdong jumped to an 11-2 lead after the tip-off and moved ahead to 33-21 in the first period. Guangdong extended their advantage to 20 points early in the second quarter, but Shenzhen showed their tenacity and pulled within 46-38 at halftime.
In the other game played on Friday, the Qingdao Eagles beat the Jilin Northeast Tigers 102-92
Shenzhen kept chasing in the third quarter as Shen Zijie's free throw earned them a 66-65 lead with 40.9 seconds remaining during the period.
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Shen suffered a waist injury in the fourth period but returned five minutes later. Sullinger's layup and jumper on consecutive possessions gave Shenzhen an 89-84 lead with 2:33 to play.
Sullinger converted five of eight free throws afterward against Guangdong's fouls tactic. Guangdong forward Ren Junfei's potential game-tying shot beyond the arc rimmed out.
He Xining added 18 points for Shenzhen. On the Guangdong side, Zhao Rui and Justin Hamilton each scored 18.
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Zhang Fan contributed 26 points and five assists as the Beijing Royal Fighters smashed the Shandong Heroes 104-89.
The Royal Fighters, who had failed to secure a playoff berth, snapped their three-game losing streak.
In the other game played on Friday, the Qingdao Eagles beat the Jilin Northeast Tigers 102-92.
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