Guangdong defeated Guangsha 114-107, ranking first for the time being, in the 26th round of the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) on Wednesday, as former Lakers guard Darius Morris made his debut in the league.
Morris replaced Edwin Jackson and his formal contract depends on his performances. His debut should satisfy his bosses as he scored a team-high 28 points and added six rebounds.
Two teams were neck and neck at the beginning of the game. After Hu Mingxuan made a three-point play, Guangdong led by six points.
With help from Yi Jianlian and the newly recruited Morris, Guangdong grabbed a 10-point lead in the second quarter.
Guangsha fought back and managed to cut the gap to five points before the last quarter. Yi hit two out of three free throws just before the whistle and secured the victory for Guangdong.
Yi pocketed 19 points and 15 rebounds, Zhou Peng and Andrew Nicholson combined for 45 points.
Courtney Fortson got a game-high 39 points and 10 rebounds for Guangsha, and Li Jionglong scored 11 points with three three-pointers out of six.
In other matches played on Wednesday, Qingdao won over Jilin 120-104, Shanxi edged Fujian 113-112 as Luis Scola contributed 36 points and 14 rebounds, Jiangsu beat Guangzhou 114-102, and Bayi lost to Sichuan 110-114.