By: Jay Yeomans
Published: March 17, 2019
The Beijing Ducks did all that they could to make sure that Jimmer Fredette wouldn’t beat them, and the plan worked to perfection.
Fredette torched Beijing from beyond the arc in two games earlier this season, and the Ducks made sure that wouldn’t happen again. They ran double and triple-teams at Fredette all night long, forcing the ball out of his hands so that the BYU legend couldn’t go off and it translated to a 110-97 win for Beijing in the opening game on the 2018-19 playoffs.
Fredette stilled managed to register 20 points on 7-of-18 shooting from the field, but connected on just 2-for-8 from beyond the arc and 4-for-5 at the foul line. He added a game-high five steals, four rebounds, and three assists in 35 minutes on the floor.
The pressure from the Ducks came early as they doubled every screen and roll and sent a third defender if Fredette created even a little bit of separation.
The Sharks were able to hang close for most of the first half, but the strategy took its tool during the second half as the Sharks went through some long scoring droughts as the Ducks pulled away.
Former Lone Peak High School star, Justin Hamilton, paced Beijing in the win, finishing with a game-best 31 points on 13-for-17 shooting from the field while knocking down both his threes and connecting on 3 of 4 from the foul line. He added 10 rebounds and was a massive influence on the defense end of the floor with four key blocks in 39 minutes.
Aaron Jackson added 29 points on 10-for-15 shooting from the floor, including 4-for-6 from distance. He also contributed nine boards and six assists in 30 minutes as the Duck took a 1-0 lead in the best-of-three series.
For the Sharks, Luo Xudong led the way with 24 points on 10-for-14 shooting from the field while Luo Hanchen chipped in with 19 points, three rebounds and a pair of steals in 31 minutes off the bench.
As for Luis Scola, he finished with one of his lowest scoring outputs of the season with 10 points on 2-for-7 shooting from the floor and 5-for-6 from the free-throw line. He added five rebounds but, like Fredette, saw double teams just about every time he touched the ball.
Inside the numbers
- With his 20-point night, Fredette scored at least 20 points in a game for the 42nd time in 44 chances.
- It was the sixth time this season that Fredette had five or more steals in a game.
- The 18 field goal attempts tied for Fredette’s third least shots in a game this year and was the sixth time he failed to take at 20 shots in a contest.
Fredette and the Sharks head back to Shanghai for game 2 on Tuesday.