Overcoming a 13-point deficit at halftime with a spectacular, strong second half, Kinmen Kaoliang stunned the second-placed Taiwan Mobile Cloud Leopards 85-82 at the Miaoli County Sport Complex in Miaoli last night to jump-start the weekend with a thriller.
Lin Guan-luen’s fade-away jumper with 20.4 seconds remaining broke an 82-82 tie in a hard-fought fourth quarter as the last-placed Distillers showed tremendous poise and resilience to pull off their third upset win in their past five games.
The veteran guard not only had 18 points on the night, but more importantly he also dished out a career-high 10 assists to account for nearly half of his team’s scoring.
“I guess the basket in Miaoli is friendlier than the one in New Taipei,” Lin remarked after the game.
He has more than silenced his critics for not distributing the ball as much as he should have earlier in the season by leading the league in assists per game with a 4.7 average.
Also starring for Kinmen was US import Taylor King, whose team-high 26 points and 13 boards kept the Leopards from being able to double up on Lin as much as they would have liked.
Taiwan Mobile came out firing by downing 25 points in the first quarter, with big man Noel Felix netting 10. They added seven to the lead with 24 points in the second quarter, courtesy of seven baskets from Cheng Ren-wei and Chang Yu-lin to grab a 13-point advantage at halftime.
Four quick points by Kinmen at the start of the third quarter promptly cut the deficit to single digits to give the Distillers a mental boost as they went on to convert 11 of 22 from the field in a 25-17 run to make it a five-point game heading into the final quarter.
In came a vicious Kinmen defense that converged on the ball whenever possible to disrupt the Leopards’ flow, which not only led to six turnovers, but also created several easy opportunities in the transition game to ultimately lift the Distillers past the Leopards for good.
Yesterday’s other result:
‧ Tigers 73, Bank of Taiwan 63