BEIJING, Feb. 28 (Xinhua) -- Xinjiang Flying Tigers picked up a pivotal victory against Beijing Ducks 109-96 in Urumqi in Thursday's 41st round of the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) league.
The hosts were right on the visitors' heels after 40 rounds with identical 27 wins and 13 losses. The victory on Thursday enabled Xinjiang to take Beijing's place of the fifth on the table, only one game away from the top four, who will automatically progress into the second round in the playoffs.
The first quarter saw a close game with Xinjiang leading by only four points. The hosts' chance came in the second quarter when they found their way to contain Beijing and built up a double-digit margin for the first time.
Aaron Jackson, the ball handler of Beijing, was cut from other teammates by Xinjiang's extended zone defense, and Beijing's hands were tight facing Xinjiang's attack in the painted area.
The visitors managed to cut the deficits within ten for a few times in the second half, but Xinjiang laughed to the end.
Except for Xinjiang's pair of foreign players who put up 57 points in total, Li Gen, a former player from Beijing, also made great trouble for the visitors with his 22 points.
Elsewhere in Shenyang, Liaoning Flying Leopard got revenge on Shenzhen Leopards 111-1150, only to find themselves still one game behind Guangdong Southeast Tigers, who trounced Nanjing Tongxi Dasheng 114-79.
In other games on Thursday, Shanxi Guotou Loongs beat Bayi Rockets 1150-91, Tianjin Gold Lion edged Beijing Aolong Fly Dragon 126-125, Fujian Sturgeon smashed Sichuan Blue Whale 115-98, and Shandong Golden Stars overcame Zhejiang Guangsha Lions 113-104.