As his wife Whitney watched from a front row seat on the baseline, Jimmer Fredette calmly stepped to the free-throw line and iced the game as the Sharks came from behind to knock off the Beikong Fly Dragons, 123-119 in overtime on Friday.
It was the fitting way to end the monster performance for Fredette who finished with a season-high 54 points, including 27 points in the fourth quarter and overtime. He also totaled team bests with 13 rebounds and 10 assists for his first triple-double of the season.
While the stat line was huge, it was the timing of his big plays that was that much more impressive. After he made a clutch three late in the fourth to help force overtime, he took over in the extra session as he scored all 12 of the Sharks points to secure the massive win.
He started off the extra period by grabbing a rebound and going coast to coast for a tough layup to tie the game at 113. Following a defensive stop, he brought the ball down the floor on the fastbreak and looked off the defender before pulling up from five feet behind the 3-point line and drilling the deep three to regain the lead.
After the Fly Dragons had taken the lead, Fredette struck again as he hit a difficult three with a defender all over him to put the Sharks ahead for good, 119-117. He then salted away the game at the foul line as he made all four of his attempts as the Sharks won their third game in a row to improve to 4-2 on the young season.
All told, Fredette finished the night with 54 points on 17-for-35 shooting from the floor, including 11-for-20 from beyond the arc and 9-for-9 from the free-throw line in 50 minutes.
He has now scored 151 points in the Sharks’ three-game winning streak, including back-to-back games of 50.
Jimmer’s offensive output wasn’t the only fireworks on the night as he and Stephon Marbury got into it after a Fredette drive to the basket late in the third. Fredette appeared to shove Marbury after the play and the two stars went chest to chest as both teams went the other way. After some yelling, cooler heads prevailed and Fredette torched the Fly Dragons the rest of the way.
Nick Minnerath added 33 points on 14-for-22 shooting from the field and 5-for-7 from deep while Wei Lo added 19 points while hitting five 3-pointers of his own.
Shavlik Randolph led the way for the Fly Dragons with 44 points on 17-for-27 shooting to go along with 11 rebounds while Chin-Min Yang recorded 24 points and six rebounds. Beikong also got a strong showing from Zaid Abbas who totaled 18 points, 12 rebounds and five assists while Stephon Marbury managed just four points on 1 of 9 shooting with six rebounds and four assists in 37 minutes.
On the season, Fredette in averaging 41.2 points on 47 percent shooting from beyond the arc and 92 percent from the foul line. He is also contributing 7.3 rebounds, 6.2 assists and 2.2 steals in 41.2 minutes a night.
Up next for Fredette and the Sharks is a Sunday matchup with the Xinjiang Flying Tigers who are 4-2 on the year after a 121-108 win over Sichuan.
The Flying Tigers are paced by Darius Adams who is off to a terrific start as he enters the game with four straight 40-point performances.
Photo credit: By Bagumba (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons
Video credit: SPNJRT – The Lonely Master Highlights