Another huge effort from DJ White was still not enough to keep the Sharks even remotely close to their hosts on Tuesday evening. Without Gilbert Arenas or Liu Wei, Shanghai didn’t have any real support for White as a ruthless Liaoning side eased into triple figures without too much trouble.
The writing was on the wall as early as the first quarter when the Sharks were outscored 30 to 6, much to the delight of the home crowd. Center Li Xiaoxu set the tone early on with an unlikely three-pointer and from then on, it was forever raining buckets as the Jaguars poured forward with conviction.
Liaoning’s menacing backcourt of Guo Ailun and Josh Akognon had a quiet night against the Sharks and were seemingly content to leave the game in the hands of the beefy trio of Li, Alexander Johnson and He Tianju.
Indeed, playing close to forty minutes due to the absence of starting center Hang Dejun, Li was in fine form and Shanghai’s Zhang Zhaoxu and Tseng Wen-ting were given a torrid time in the paint by the undersized 6″9 bruiser, who finished the game with a juicy 22/15/6 stat line.
For Shanghai, White’s 37 points and 15 rebounds were the only positive on a tough night for the visitors. The Sharks, missing two of their best shooters from beyond the arc, attempted only eleven three-pointers the entire evening- and only scored one of them.
That said, the Sharks were definitely weakened and tired coming into a game they weren’t fancied to win whilst the home side were very good and had no qualms about running up the score against a wounded foe. With Beijing due in Shanghai on Friday, the Sharks will be looking forward to getting back home and preparing for the next game rather than dwelling on a comprehensive defeat.