|Lester Hudson's crucial three-pointer 11.8 seconds to go dragged Xinjiang Guanghui back from the cliff edge here on Friday in the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) finals. (Xinhua Photo)
BEIJING, March 28 (Xinhua) -- Lester Hudson's crucial three-pointer 11.8 seconds to go dragged Xinjiang Guanghui back from the cliff edge here on Friday in the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) finals.
Beijing Ducks, which led Xinjiang 3-1 on aggregate in the best-of-seven, failed to stop Hudson in the last seconds and lost their last home game 83-80. They had to continue fighting for their second CBA title on road.
Hudson finished with 36 points, 13 rebounds and five assists. Xirelijang added 14 points.
Xinjiang's James Singleton was absent due to left hand injury. "I'm proud of my teammates," he said in locker room, while shrugging off any comment on possibility to play in the next game.
With 11.8 seconds to go, Hudson hit the shot from downtown in front of Sun Yue, who led Beijing players with 17 points. He cheered with his teammates, leaving a silent crowd in Mastercard Center.
Beijing had the opportunity to tie the game into overtime, but Randolph Morris failed to catch the shot.
"They shoot the ball well today. We play a great defense, but our offense is not efficient, we need to find a better way," said Morris.
Xinjiang's Liu Shunan grabbed the spotlight with single-quarter 8 points, while Beijing's offense was more efficient and they built a 19-15 lead after the first period.
Sun Yue had five points in a row, helping the hosts extend the lead little by little. Then Beijing scored seven straight points to build a double-figure lead. Beijing led by 46-36 into the halftime.
Xinjiang's pillar in the paint field Tang Zhengdong was fouled out with 10:54 remaining in the third quarter, only to see Hudson's shining performance afterwards, which narrowed the deficit within just one point as this quarter ran out.
"The main problem occurs in the third quarter, when we were not relosute behind the arc. However, we still have two more games," said Beijing's head coach Min Lulei.
Stephon Marbury had 14 points. Morris and Zhai Xiaochuan added 14 and 12 respectively.
Game 6 of the finals will be held on Sunday.