Thanks to a clutch floater, Gilbert Arenas defied his critics and brought home a huge victory for the Sharks against local rivals, the Jiangsu Dragons. With four seconds on the clock, Arenas’ shot was good for the win and the Sharks can now move on to their next game with at least some pride restored after their blow-out loss to Guangsha on Friday.
Though Arenas, who had 25 points and 18 rebounds will steal the plaudits, DJ White was also value for the money. The former Charlotte Bobcat dropped 24 points in addition to getting 12 pulldowns. Moreover, there were also signs of life from Zhang Zhaoxu, who almost tore the rim down with a thunderous dunk after the 7″3 center skipped from just inside the arc into the paint with a show of dexterity not usually associated with a man of his size. The Shanghai big, who has had a faltering season this year enjoyed a solid outing and scored 14 points.
Shanghai led the game from the first quarter through some fine fade away jumpers from Arenas but the game was always kept close thanks to the rampaging antics of Mike Harris, who was consistently making his shots from all over the court. A meaty bodycheck from Wang Ligang in the second quarter was a reminder that the Sharks were going to be guarding him closely but the extra attention didn’t seem to faze the former Houston Rocket forward.
Inch by inch though, the Sharks were getting it done and whenever the home side seemed to be getting back into the game through Harris, White would pop up to crash home a put-back jam or Arenas would sink an impossible jumper.
Even when the Dragons finally had the lead thanks to another Sharks old boy, Garret Siler, the Sharks never seemed to look ruffled even though there was eight seconds on the clock and Jiangsu were ahead 94-93.
Knowing that Arenas would undoubtably have the last play of the game, Jiangsu then attempted to double-team him on the perimeter after the restart. As Meng Da came across to force the Sharks’ player onto his left hand side, the plan was presumably for Yi Li to come right up the middle and get a hand up in Arenas’ face so as to make the shot harder. Instead, Yi seemed to try to take a charge and was duly dumped on his backside by the stronger American who was already driving to the basket as the Jiangsu player came towards him.
With an open look at the basket from the edge of the paint, Arenas was money and the game was done. The Sharks had got lucky at the best possible time and Yi, who had started the game with a cocksure breakaway dunk was left to walk off the court with egg very much on his face.
Harris finished with 33 points and 15 rebounds but the Sharks leave with the W. One final road trip awaits against the Zhejiang Bulls in Yiwu before a two game home stand against Dongguang and Guangdong.