Published: 09:18, May 21, 2024
Liaoning defeats Xinjiang to hold championship point in CBA finals
By Xinhua
Lindell Wigginton (left) of Xinjiang Flying Tigers goes up for a basket during the play-off final third leg match between Xinjiang Flying Tigers and Liaoning Flying Leopards at the 2023-2024 season of the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) league in Urumqi, Northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, May 20, 2024. (PHOTO / XINHUA)

URUMQI - Defending champions the Liaoning Flying Leopards beat the Xinjiang Flying Tigers 98-91 to take a 3-0 lead in the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) Finals here on Monday.

Kyle Fogg dominated the game again, scoring 34 points in a row. The 34-year-old buried a crucial three-pointer with two minutes remaining in the last quarter, giving Liaoning a 94-91 lead.

Fogg hit a total of six three-pointers, the same as the whole Xinjiang team, who only shot 18.2 percent from behind the three-point line.

Lindell Wigginton (center) of Xinjiang Flying Tigers competes during the play-off final third leg match between Xinjiang Flying Tigers and Liaoning Flying Leopards at the 2023-2024 season of the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) league in Urumqi, Northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, May 20, 2024. (PHOTO / XINHUA)

"Fogg's ability and enthusiasm at both ends in key moments has been a great contribution to us in recent years, and he is willing to do things that other international players may not want to do. We are lucky to have him," said Liaoning head coach Yang Ming.

Zhao Jiwei had 16 points, nine rebounds and nine assists for Liaoning. Six Xinjiang players scored in double digits, with regular season MVP Abdusalam Abdurexit finishing with 14 points, nine rebounds and eight assists.

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In the CBA history, no team has ever come back from a 3-0 deficit to win the finals.

"Our performance improved from the last game, it is a pity that we lost. The series is not finished, we will fight until the end," stated Xinjiang head coach Qiu Biao.

Lindell Wigginton (second right) of Xinjiang Flying Tigers competes during the play-off final third leg match between Xinjiang Flying Tigers and Liaoning Flying Leopards at the 2023-2024 season of the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) league in Urumqi, Northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, May 20, 2024. (PHOTO / XINHUA)

Xinjiang opened the game with a 7-0 run, but Liaoning recovered quickly and established a nine-point lead as the first quarter expired. Fogg's three-pointers and assists helped Liaoning increase their advantage to 13 points at halftime.

Hosts Xinjiang started the third quarter with tight defense, cutting the deficit to seven points before Fogg scored five consecutive points to restore Liaoning's double-digit lead.

Trailing by 12 points into the last quarter, Xinjiang fought back with a 16-4 run to tie the game 81-81. Lindell Wigginton scored 11 points in this quarter, but he made two mistakes to cost Xinjiang the game.

READ MORE: Xinjiang eliminates Zhejiang to reach CBA finals

Game 4 will take place on Wednesday on the same court.