Former Sharks hero Zaid Abbas flirted with a triple double on the way to scoring a game high 23 points as well as racking up 12 rebounds and 6 assists. The Jordanian was a force to be reckoned with whenever he was out on the floor and made the Sharks pay almost everytime he found space for himself in the paint.
Yet the key to the Lions’ resounding victory was not just simply Abbas having a good night. Four other Shandong players scored 12 points or more as the home side shot 61% from inside the arc (36 from 59) and generally out shot and out rebounded the Sharks.
Having opened up a twenty point lead by the early stages of the third quarter, the Lions were already beginning to rest some of their more key players only for the bench to keep the scoreboard ticking along. Li Jingyu had a 16 point, 10 rebound double-double as he led the bench in an all-out assault on an increasingly beleaguered Shanghai team.
For the Sharks, DJ White scored 21 points and hauled in 12 boards but once again, the Shanghai team were always going to be in trouble against a team that could boast three solid overseas players. Without Gibert Arenas (still), Abbas, Pooh Jeter and Jackson Vroman were always going to be too much of an advantage for Shandong.
Leading by twelve points after the first quarter, the Lions never looked back and kept their foot on the throats of the Sharks for the entirety of the game. Had they not been so poor from the charity strip and shot better than 3-of-14, the score would have been higher. Bottom placed Qingdao and Tracy McGrady await on Friday and the Sharks will need to clear their heads of tonight’s loss as quickly as possible.