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Guangdong takes control in CBA finals

(Xinhua)    10:23, August 12, 2020

Yi Jianlian (C) of Guangdong Southern Tigers tries to block Han Dejun (3rd L) of Liaoning Flying Leopards during the first game of the final round between Guangdong Southern Tigers and Liaoning Flying Leopards at the 2019-2020 Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) league in Qingdao, east China's Shandong Province, Aug. 11, 2020. (Xinhua/Zhu Zheng)

QINGDAO, China, Aug. 11 (Xinhua) -- Defending champions the Guangdong Southern Tigers cruised past the Liaoning Flying Leopards 110-88 on Tuesday, grabbing a 1-0 lead in the best-of-three Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) finals.

Sonny Weems had a game-high 28 points and nine rebounds for Guangdong. Zhou Peng scored 20 points, Zhao Rui added 16, and Ren Junfei contributed 12.

O.J. Mayo led Liaoning with 21 points, followed by 16 from Han Dejun. Guo Ailun had 14 points and seven rebounds, while Zhao Jiwei and Cong Mingchen added 10 apiece.

"It's not an easy win. We both sides played a tough game. We are the luckier team today," Guangdong head coach Du Feng said after the game.

"Tonight we played against a good team. In Game 2, we need to play much better," Mayo said.

Guangdong raced into a 7-0 lead before Liaoning answered with a 10-4 run to even the game at 14-14. The defending champions surged into a 11-0 run in the second quarter to extended their lead to 10 points at 38-28. However, Mayo scored 17 points in the first half to lead Liaoning to narrow the deficit to 55-50 at the half.

Liaoning got a hot hand from downtown in the third quarter as Cong buried a three-pointer to help Liaoning take a 73-72 lead with two minutes and 31 seconds left.

With Zhou Peng scoring six points in a row, Guangdong entered the final quarter with a seven-point advantage (80-73). Guangdong then continued to extend their lead to 20 points on 107-87 with less than two minutes left to put the game beyond reach.

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(Web editor: Liang Jun, Bianji)

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