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China defeats U.S. Star 79-69 in friendly

HARBIN, China, (Xinhua) — China outscored U.S. Star 79-69 on Friday for a second straight victory in the three-game basketball series.

China center Wang Zhelin dominated the painting area again by collecting 14 points and eight rebounds. Young star Zhai Xiaochuan, who helped Beijing Ducks get the second straight CBA title two months ago, took 13 points.

Veteran forward Zhou Peng added 11.

“The second game was tough,” said Chinese head coach Gong Luming.”They defended well and we made too many turnovers.”

China made 22 turnovers throughout the game.

China started with a 9-0 run. U.S. Star fought back by playing more aggressive basketball, tying 13-13 into the later half of the first quarter. U.S. Star took a seven-point advantage following a 7-0 spurt, but China got back after Liu Xiaoyu hit two straight three-pointers, and finished the first period 25-20.

U.S. Star leveled 25-25 in the second quarter, only to see China pull away with a 14-4 run thanks to center Wang Zhelin.

Zhai knocked down a couple of free-throws to award China a 46-37 lead. The host team wrapped up the first half 46-40.

U.S. Star cut the gap to two points at the beginning of the third period. Then China played better defense, making a few fastbreaks to keep the lead. Game got tough in the later half of the quarter. U.S. Star did a good job beyond the arc, but bigger-sized China ended the period 60-54.

The final quarter was physical as each team had one player fouled out. Zhai and Wang kept attacking the rim, eventually sealing the victory for China.

“China has 22 turnovers,” said said U.S. Star Team head coach Daimon Beathea

“Our quickness is taking away their size. It’s like a chess game.”

The third and final game will take place in the same venue on Sunday.

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