Jimmer Fredette returned to Shanghai in time to carry the Sharks to a massive 107-99 overtime win over the Shenzhen Leopards to square the best-of-5 series at one game apiece.
After a tough shooting night, Fredette got the magic going in the closing seconds of regulation as he split two defenders and got to the rim with 2.2 seconds left in regulation for the difficult lay-up to give the Sharks a 92-90 lead. Jeremy Pargo answered for the Leopards at the buzzer with the would be game winner with the off-balance shot from the 3-point line. Pargo sprinted down the floor and up the tunnel in celebration, but upon a lengthy review (we’re talking like 10 minutes where the refs looked at the monitor at the scorers table, the playback on one of the video cameras filming the game and even a cell phone or two), it was clear that his foot was on the line, making it a game tying shot.
Following the long delay, Pargo got the Leopards on the board first in the extra session with a step-back baseline jumper, but Zhang ZhaoXu answered with the 3-point play to give the Sharks the lead. After a defense stop, Fredette took over as he scored eight straight points to bring home the win. He started it out with a left-wing three off the dribble to push the Sharks’ lead to 98-94. He added another three from the right side just seconds later to give Shanghai a 7-point cushion. After another defensive stop, he hit a running floater from just inside the foul line to extend the lead to 103-94 before the Sharks closed out the game at the foul line.
All told, Fredette finished the night with a game-high 39 points on 14 for 39 shooting from the floor, including 4 for 17 from beyond the arc and 7 for 8 from the foul line. He also contributed 10 rebounds, two assists and a steal in 44:04.
Guerschon Yabusele added 27 points on 10 for 17 shooting from the field, including 3 for 6 from distance with 10 rebounds and three assists. Liu XiaoYu also came up big in the win with 21 points – including four clutch free throws down the stretch – while adding nine rebounds, three assists and two steals.
Gu QuAn paced the Leopards in the tough loss with 23 points and seven rebounds, while Li Muhao managed 22 points on 9 for 13 shooting from the floor while grabbing 12 rebounds.
Pargo chipped in with 22 points on 9 for 22 shooting with seven rebounds, seven assists and five steals while Maciej Lampe recorded a double-double as he finished with 17 points, 10 rebounds, four assists and two blocks.
The Sharks and the Leopards are back in Shanghai on Wednesday night for game 3.