Shots continued to fall from beyond the arc and from the foul line for Jimmer Fredette, but so did the record of the Shanghai Sharks who dropped their fourth game in a row, 101-96 to the Jiangsu Dragons on Friday.
Fredette finished with a game-high 38 points on 12-for-28 shooting from the field, including 7-for-15 from beyond the arc and a perfect 7-for-7 from the foul line. He added a team-best seven rebounds, three assists and steal in 44 minutes.
It wasn’t enough to overcome a massive performance Miroslav Raduljica who had by far his best game of the season with 34 points on 10-for-18 shooting from the floor and 14-for-15 from the foul line. He added 14 rebounds, five assists and a pair of steals in 35 minutes off the bench.
Raduljica had plenty of help as four other Dragons scored in double figures, including MarShon Brooks who registered 22 points and five assists.
That same kind of offensive balance wasn’t their for the Sharks who got a combined 70 points from Fredette and Minnerath, but got no more than six points from anyone else in the five-point loss.
Rebounding was also a huge factor in the loss for the Sharks as they got dominated on the glass 45-28, including 14-6 on the offensive end.
On the season, Fredette is averaging a league-leading 40.3 points a night on 44 percent shooting from inside the arc, 46 percent from 3-point land and 95 percent from the foul line. He is also contributing 7.2 rebounds, 5.2 assists and 2.0 steals in 42.2 minutes.
While Fredette is having a strong season, the Sharks have really struggled to find any balance or consistency. After going 30-8 in 2016-17, the Sharks have won just six times in their first 13 games this time around.
Fredette and the Sharks will have a chance to get back to a .500 record on Sunday against the Jilin Northeast Tigers who are just 3-10 on the year.
While the Tigers don’t have a great record they do have a strong inside presence in Carl Landry who could cause the Sharks some serious problems. After averaging 10.8 points a night in 513 NBA games, he is averaging 27.6 points on 63 percent shooting from 2-point range for Jilin. He has also been a monster on the glass during his first season in China with 11.9 boards a night.
Another former NBA player, Von Wafer is also scoring the ball very well with 28.6 points a game on 50 percent shooting from 3-point range and 90 percent from the foul line.
Photo credit: By Bagumba (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons