Defending champions Liaoning lose Game 1 in CBA semis

2019-04-10 03:36:46 GMT2019-04-10 11:36:46(Beijing Time) Xinhua English

Forward Liu Zhixuan missed his last 3-pointer as the reigning champions Liaoning conceded a 97-95 loss to Xinjiang in Game 1 of their best-of-seven semifinals of the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) league here on Tuesday.

"It was the first game, a really tough one," Xinjiang head coach Adijiang said. "Both sides played a good game, and I think we should do better in the next game."

Abudushalamu scored a team-high 26 points for Xinjiang, including a key layup to regain a two-point lead for the visitors with only one minute left.

"It was a closing game. We made some mistakes in the last quarter which should have been avoided," the 23-year-old said. "Luckily, we held off their challenge."

Jarnell Stokes made 24 points and 10 points, Kay Felder contributed 21 points and seven assists for Xinjiang, while Guo Ailun scored the game-high 28 points and Brandon Bass had 23 points and 10 rebounds for Liaoning.

Xinjiang enjoyed an 8-point lead into the last quarter, but was overtaken by the defending champions once at 84-83 as point guard Guo found his hot hands later on.

"Guo Ailun didn't play to his level in the first half but found his game in the second," Liaoning head coach Guo Shiqiang said. "It was a breathtaking game but we lost by two points."

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