ZHUJI, China – Guo Ailun and Han Dejun combined for 63 points as the Liaoning Flying Leopards outlasted the Jilin Northeast Tigers 111-99 in the 2020-21 Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) league here on Wednesday.

Guo shot 12 of 15 from the field to finish with 33 points and 10 assists, and Han recorded a double-double of 30 points and 20 rebounds. Zhao Jiwei scored a crucial 15 points off the bench.

Guo was substituted due to a foot injury midway through the fourth quarter, but Jilin failed to whittle away the deficit despite his absence.

Before Wednesday’s head-to-head, Liaoning sat second on the table with a 9-1 record, while Jilin was two spots behind at 8-2.

Han and Liu Zhixuan combined for 12 points after the tip-off, and Guo followed up with consecutive layups. Jilin found form from beyond the arc, converting six 3-pointers in the first quarter, but a change of defensive tactics worked for Liaoning, which scored six straight points to wrap up the period 31-24.

Jilin’s Zhang Biao scored 16 points in the second period, but Liaoning withstood the 30-year-old forward’s offensive output and raced ahead 60-52 at the interval.

Liaoning opened the second half with three shots from 3-point range to extend its lead to 15 points. Backcourt duo of Guo and Zhao tallied 19 points down the stretch, powering Liaoning to an 11-point advantage heading into the final frame.

“We fought hard as we hoped to finish the first phase of matches on a high note,” said Liaoning coach Yang Ming.

Jilin had five players scoring in double figures, led by Zhang’s 25 on 11-of-17 shooting, while Jiang Yuxing pocketed 23 points.

“We failed on guarding their pick and roll, thus committing many errors,” Zhang admitted.

Despite the loss, Jilin coach Wang Han was satisfied with his side’s play.

“We tried our best today with the current roster. We laid out some tactics in defense, but it was more about players’ execution and capability,” he noted.

Liaoning will meet the Qingdao Eagles on Friday, while Jilin squares off against the Guangzhou Loong Lions.

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