BEIJING, March 13 (Xinhua) --- Guangdong Hongyuan and Shandong Gold, the first and second seeds of playoffs, experienced thrilling home victories on Wednesday and got the match point in Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) league semifinals.
Zhu Fangyu handed a heroic performance with 11 of 19 points in a row in the fourth quarter to help Guangdong Hongyuan edge Xinjiang Guanghui 88-86. Yi Jianlian had a double-double of 15 points and 15 rebounds despite suffering finger injury. Donald Sloan made a critical shot in the final moment, finishing with 14 points.
Guangdong took a 8-2 spurt thanks to Yi Jianlian and Ike Diogu's consecutive shots in the paint field. After controlling the rhythm of the game, regular season titleholder built a five-point lead as the first quarter ran out.
With two minutes remaining in the second quarter, Yi injured his finger in defense and left the court for further examination. Upon his absence, Xinjiang used an 8-0 run to lead their opponents by 41-37 into halftime.
In the following one-and-half quarters, Guangdong moved on a catch-up track, only to witness Zhu's spectacular play midway through the final 12 minutes as he scored 11 straight points, including three consecutive 3-pointers. With 11 seconds left, Sloan finished the decisive shot for Guangdong. Xinjiang's James Singleton, who played for Guangdong last season, missed a 3-pointer at the buzzer, seeing his former team one step closer to the Finals.
"This series isn't over. We should focus on the next game, otherwise we will be shocked by our opponents," Guangdong's coach Du Feng said.
Elsewhere, Shandong Gold downed defending champions Beijing Ducks 94-92, also leading the best-of-five series by 2-0.
Pooh Jeter shone with a game-high 30 points. Li Jingyu helped with 17 points. Zaid Abbass cooled his momentum with nine points while grabbing 16 rebounds.
Both teams tied at 44 after the first half. Then Jeter began to cheer up home supporters with three straight 3-pointers to help Shandong extend the margin to seven points into the last quarter.
Ex-NBA star Stephon Marbury, who contributed 29 points and five assists, led Beijing to fight back. The reigning champions narrowed the gap step by step, with the least to just one point.
After Jeter made one of two free throws with 10 seconds left, Beijing had the opportunity to pull the game into extra time or even "kill" their opponents, while Randolph Morris missed the decisive jumper.
He pocketed 26 points and 11 rebounds.
Guangdong and Shandong will also host Game 3 of the semifinals on Friday.