Published: February 8, 2018
On a night where he struggled to find the range on offense for most of the game, Jimmer Fredette provided a wonderful defensive effort as the Shanghai Sharks held on to beat the Shenzhen Leopards 93-82 on Thursday.
Fredette finished with 27 points on 10-for-25 shooting from the floor, including 1-for-5 from distance and 6-for-10 from the foul line. He added five rebounds, two assists and tied his season best with five steals in 40 minutes of work.
Fredette got into the offensive flow early with nine first-quarter points as the Sharks jumped out to a 14-point lead. He started things out with a backdoor cut before connecting on a short jumper.
Fredette then went to work from the outside as he drilled a top of the key three following by a layup in traffic. He finished out the hot shooting stretch with a pull-up jumper in transition before he was subbed out.
He added nine more points in the fourth quarter, including a fastbreak layup after a key steal to keep the Leopards at bay. He also made another big steal moments later before the Sharks salted the game away.
Nick Minnerath also had a big night for the Sharks in the win as he totaled 32 points on 8-for-15 shooting from the field and 12-for-13 from the free-throw line. Cai Liang chipped in with 12 points, seven rebounds, four assists and three steals as Shanghai improved to 19-18 on the season.
Jared Sullinger carried the offensive load for the Leopards in the loss with a game-high 37 points on 14-for-27 shooting from the floor, including 3-for-8 from deep and 6-for-6 from the charity stripe. He added a game-best 16 rebounds with two assists, a steal and block in 44 minutes.
Tyrese Rice added six points, five assists and three boards for Shenzhen, but had a tough shooting night as he connected on just 2 of 9 shots from the field.
Through 37 games, Fredette is averaging 37.1 points on 47 percent shooting from inside the arc, 42 percent shooting from 3-point land and 95 percent from the foul line. He is also contributing 6.8 rebounds, 5.4 assists and 1.9 steals in 40.9 minutes.
Up next for Fredette and the Sharks is the last game of the season as they take the court against the Qingdao Eagles. The Eagles are 11-25 on the season after a 120-107 win over the Jiangsu Tongxi Monkey Kings.
They are led by the American pair of Jonathan Gibson and James Mays. Gibson is averaging 34 points, 6.9 rebounds and 4.8 assists in 36 games while Mays is putting up 26 points, 11.6 rebounds and 2.8 assists since joining the team 11 games ago.
Photo credit: By Bagumba (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons