No sweep here, not on Xinjiang’s watch.
After two road wins in Xinjiang the Beijing Ducks fall at home 92-81 in game 3 of the 2014 CBA Finals pushing the series to 2-1.
“Teamwork man, we are a band of brothers and we played together, plain and simple,” said Xinjiang Flying Tigers forward James Singleton.
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Time and time again Beijing would get a big stop on the defensive end but weren’t able to come up with the rebound. The Flying Tigers out-rebounded the Ducks 61-44.
Singleton’s rebounding efforts played a crucial role in Xinjiang’s success Sunday night in front of a sold out MasterCard Center. He finished the game with 17 points and 18 rebounds.
Randolph Morris grabbed 14 of the Ducks’ 39 rebounds. He said, “We need to do a better job rebounding and defending. Rebounding is where we lost the game. When you give up 29 offensive rebounds, you are not going to win a game.”
Ducks head coach Min Lulei opted to go small, a costly decision when you factor consistent struggles in the rebounding category. Early foul trouble for forward Ji Zhe and the injury to Ducks forward Zhu Yanxi forced coach Min to put more responsibilities on role players like Li Gen and Ryan Li.
Morris was also quick to point out the terrible shooting night from three-point territory. The Ducks shot an abysmal 2-21 from downtown, good for 9 per cent. And when the three point shot is not falling the only alternative is to crash the boards, something the Ducks failed to do.
After a poor performance in games 1 and 2, Lester Hudson came out flying for the Flying Tigers. In the first two games Hudson launched 20 three-point attempts making only two of them.
In game three, Hudson took three shots from beyond the arc and hit one. Instead of overshooting from three, he was attacking the basket and getting the throw line. He finished with a game-high 24 points and 13 rebounds.
Stephon Marbury did all that he could do for Beijing. Despite going 0-5 from the three-point line, he was 7-12 from inside and 9-11 from the charity stripe finishing with a team-high 23 points, eight rebounds and five assists.
Game 4 is scheduled for Wednesday, March 26 at 7:30 p.m. in Beijing.