Tseng Wen-ding scored 25 points, Chen "Airman" Hsin-an had 17, and Chen Chih-chung grabbed a game-high 12 rebounds Saturday night to lead the Yulon Dinos past the Dacin Tigers 87-75 in Game 2 of Taiwan's Super Basketball League championship series.
The dynamic trio fought off a fierce third-quarter rally by the Tigers to give the Dinos a commanding 2-0 advantage in the best-of-five series, leaving the defending champs one victory away from completing their quest to repeat by sweeping the series.
The Dinos held a 13-point lead at the half.
"We knew what the Tigers were capable of doing as far as making a scoring run, so I told the team during the intermission that no lead would be safe," Dinos head coach Lee Yun-kuan said.
Lee was absolutely right as the Tigers rallied from being down as many as 20 points in the third quarter to come within four of the Dinos by the start of the fourth quarter.
It was not until Chen Hsin-an's pair of deadly three-pointers in the fourth quarter that helped the Dinos build a double-digit lead with less than three minutes left to play that Lee began to sense victory.
Point guard Chen Chih-chung had another monstrous game despite suffering from a dislocated index finger in his shooting hand. He poured in 21 points while also gathering a dozen rebounds and three assists in a gutsy performance worthy of the game-MVP honor.
"This is what being a true champ is all about," Chen Chih-chung said. "You must put aside all the distractions and just go out and win."
Failure to win the rebounding battle continued to hurt the Tigers as the 13-rebound disadvantage (43-30) led to a 10-plus edge in two-point shot attempts by the Dinos.
"We played three quarters of excellent basketball against the top club in the league," Tigers coach Liu Jia-fa said. "It's just unfortunate that we weren't able to put together four solid quarters."
His crew did not exploited the foul trouble that the Dinos' Tseng, Chen Chih-chung and Lee Hsueh-lin fell in to. All three scoring threats managed to finish the game without fouling out after they were all called for the fourth foul prior to the fourth quarter.
Tigers scoring icon Tien Lei had his usual double-double (21 points and 10 rebounds) for the game, but was never the offensive threat that Liu had hoped his main point producer would be because of the great defensive coverage that the Dinos provided.
The preliminary stuff is over in the Miami Heat's playoff run.
Eddie Jones made a 3-pointer from the right wing with 14.9 seconds remaining Saturday, thwarting a late Washington Wizards rally and helping the Heat to a 99-95 victory that wrapped up the Eastern Conference semifinal series in four games.
Miami swept two teams it also swept in the regular season, completing the job with Dwyane Wade solidifying his case as a phenomenon-on-the-rise, with Jones hitting the winning shot, and with Shaquille O'Neal sitting on the bench in a dapper dark gray suit.
Jones' basket gave Miami a 97-95 lead and ended a streak of 16 straight misses for the Heat, who blew an 11-point lead over the final six minutes.
Washington's Larry Hughes attempted to tie the game with a drive to the basket, but Alonzo Mourning blocked the shot with 8.3 seconds remaining. Wade then made two free throws for the final points.
Wade scored 22 of his career playoff-high 42 points in a dazzling third quarter in which he went 7-for-7 from the field and 8-for-8 from the free-throw line. He broke franchise records for points in a playoff quarter and a playoff game and scored 31, 31 and 42 in the last three games of the series.
The Wizards simply could not stop Wade, whether he was working himself open for a jumper or grabbing an offensive rebound and going back up for a dunk. He finished 13-for-22 from the field and 16-for-17 from the line.
"It was just about taking what the defense gave me," Wade said. "I had confidence in my pull-up, and I was taking that. Then the defense started getting confused, and I was able to get to the lane and make the basket down low."
O'Neal missed his second straight game with a deep thigh bruise that has hobbled him for several weeks. The sweep will give him a minimum of eight days to recover, with the conference finals against Detroit or Indiana not scheduled to start until May 23, at the earliest.
"It means we get a lot of rest," Wade said. "We're just going to try to go get healthy. This team is on a mission. Whoever our next opponent is in the next round is going to be tough."
A healthy O'Neal wasn't necessary against New Jersey in the first round or Washington in the second. The Heat went 15-0 against the two teams and are the first team in NBA history to sweep the same two teams in the playoffs that it swept during the regular season. Miami has also won 12 straight against the Washington over two seasons.
Damon Jones added 19 points from the Heat, including 12 points in the pivotal third quarter when he made all four of his 3-point attempts. Miami outscored Washington 40-25 in the third, opening an 11-point lead that became 13 when Eddie Jones opened the fourth with a basket.
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