Mon, May 08, 2006 - Page 19 News List

Dinos near to three-peat

PRO BASKETBALL PLAYOFFS The Dinos downed the Beer 110-81 in Game 4 and now lead the title series 3-1

By Paul Huang  /  CONTRIBUTING REPORTER

Yulon Dinos' Chou Shih-yuan, right, evades Ho Sho-cheng's defense to find the open man in Game 4 of the Super Basketball League championship series at the Taipei Physical Education Gymnasium Saturday. The Dinos cruised past Taiwan Beer 110-81 to take a 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven game series.

PHOTO COURTESY OF SBL

Tseng Wen-ding racked 20 points and 12 rebounds, Chen Chih-chung had 19 points on top of four steals, and Chou Shih-yuan added a game-high four three-pointers on an 18-point night to lift the Yulon Dinos past Taiwan Beer 110-81 in Game 4 of the Super Basketball League's championship series Saturday night.

The "iron triad" for the defending champs executed coach Lee Yun-kuan's game plan to gang up on the brewers with an inside-outside attack to near-perfection, and the Dinos came away with a 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven series -- one win shy of their third straight title.

"Three down and one to go," Dinos players chanted in their locker room after the game.

After a hard fought first quarter that ended with the Dinos leading 29-25, the beer crew suddenly lost their shooting touch in a lopsided second quarter where they were outscored 31-12.

Dinos guard Liu Sheng-yao's buzzer-beating three-point bomb from mid-court was just one of several examples showing how the Dinos could do no wrong on the night.

Carrying their first-half success into the second half, the Dinos continued to have their way on the both ends of the floor with Chou hitting from the perimeter while Tseng made his inside presence felt underneath the basket.

Yulon's record-high 40-point lead midway through the third prompted Lee to send in the bench in the interest of resting his starters.

Even though the move would help Taiwan Beer cut the deficit to 24 points by the end of the third, they never seemed able to drop it below 20 points, making the outcome of the game a foregone conclusion well before the final buzzer.

His troops shot an outstanding 44-for-71 from the floor, including an incredible 11-for-14 from behind the three-point line in a game they never trailed. The only thing that drew some concern from Lee was the fact that Yulon had not been as consistent over the span of the series as he would have liked.

As for Taiwan Beer, failure to win the rebounding battle (35-to-28) in addition to turning the ball over 20 times (compared to the Dinos' 12) in the game dug them in an early hole too deep to overcome.

Lin "The Beast" Chih-jeh was well contained by a Dinos defense that held the league's two-time scoring champ to only 17 points and three rebounds -- well short of his playoff average of 24 points and seven rebounds.

NBA

So much for the nail-biting suspense of a Game 7. The fast, feisty Phoenix Suns won in a 121-90 laugher over the listless Los Angeles Lakers on Saturday night.

Leandro Barbosa led the layup parade with a career playoff-best 26 points on 10-of-12 shooting and the Suns became the eighth team in NBA history to win a series after trailing 3-1.

That all-LA second-round series that looked so probable a few days ago vanished in a blur of Suns' fast breaks and repeated drives to the basket.

Instead, the Clippers will come to Phoenix for Game 1 of the second-round series tonight.

The Brazilian Barbosa and Frenchman Boris Diaw led the way. Diaw had 21 points and nine assists as seven Suns scored in double figures. Shawn Marion had 14 points and 10 rebounds, Steve Nash 13 points and nine assists.

Kobe Bryant scored 24 points of 8-of-16 shooting, but the rest of the Lakers starters were 17-for-50. Bryant scored only one point and took just three shots in the second half.

Raja Bell returned to a hero's welcome from a one-game suspension for throwing Bryant to the floor in Game 5. He scored 13 points and drew three offensive fouls against Bryant.

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