Big Al Jefferson’s career in China is underway.
The Chinese Basketball Association tipped off its season last week, and Big Al’s team, the Xinjiang Flying Tigers came roaring out of the gate, posting a 3-0 record with wins over Jiangsu, Nanjing and Zhejiang.
Al had an efficient offensive night in his debut againstJiangsu, posting 11 points and seven rebounds in a starting role while shooting over 50 percent from the floor in 27 minutes of action. Not known for his outside shooting in his NBA career, No. 25 also tried his hand from deep in the 101-93 win and knocked down his only three-point attempt. Fellow former NBA-er Darius Adams led the way for Xinjiang, with 29 points to propel the Flying Tigers to a season-opening victory.
In the second game of the season, Big Al nearly notched his first double-double in China, finishing with eight points and 10 rebounds while coming off the bench, contributing to a big win over Nanjing. Adams led all scorers once again with 33 points and added nine assists. Abudushalamu Abudurexiti chipped in 20 points of his own as the Flying Tigers coasted to a 116-95 victory to push them to 2-0.
After two games on the road, the Flying Tigers made their home debut for 2018-19 against the Zhejiang Golden Bulls on Friday. Big Al was a force off the bench again, scoring 14 points and grabbing four boards in 21 minutes. Adams also continued to soar, leading the game in scoring with a season-high 42 points, while adding eight rebounds and seven assists. An efficient night from Al and his teammates made all the difference in a close contest, and Xinjiang held on to win 101-97.
Big Al seems to be growing more comfortable with his new teammates as each day passes, and through three games, the team has been successful going 3-0, while No. 25 has been efficient and effective, averaging 11 points and seven rebounds. The season continues Guangdong, Guangzhou and Shenzen as the Flying Tigers look to build on their hot start.