BENXI, China, March 17 -- Point guard Zhao Jiwei's buzzer beater helped Liaoning secure its first victory in the 2016-2017 Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) league semifinals, defeating Xinjiang 109-107 here on Friday.
Lagging behind 0-3 before Friday's match, Liaoning fought hard at home court and finished the first quarter 33-25 ahead. Forward Liu Zhixuan scored 14 points including four three-pointers in this quarter. He added another 10 points before the interval as Liaoning led by 62-57 into the second half.
Although Liaoning went 19 of 42 in three-pointer attempts, Xinjiang managed to tie the match 107-107 after Zhou Qi's dunk and Yu Changdong's layup with 20 seconds left.
After their first attack was blocked by Zhou Qi, Liaoning still have 6.5 seconds in hand. Zhao Jiwei dribbled to the rim but his jump shot missed the target. After a fight for rebound in the paint, the ball flew to the free-throw line before Zhao caught it in the air and then hit a two-pointer.
"Our bad defense was the cause of our defeat. We let Liaoning hit 13 three-pointers. We did well in rebounds but at the same time had 21 turnovers," said Xinjiang's head coach Li Qiuping. "We need to improve defense in the next game."
Liu Zhixuan led Liaoning with 25 points, Lester Hudson and Guo Ailun scored 23 and 22 points respectively.
Zhou Qi paced Xinjiang with 28 points while former NBA player Andray Blatche contributed a double-double of 15 points and 14 rebounds.
The fifth game of the best-of-seven series will be played on Sunday night.