When things looked grim once again for the Saigon Heat, they decided to turn things around, and thus they found a way to win once again.
Behind a monster performance from World Import Torian Graham, the Saigon Heat snapped their losing skid and won 103-95 over the Macau Wolf Warriors at the Foshan Shishan Gymnasium, China.
Graham played like a man possessed, as he tied the ABL season-high in scoring with 45 points, and also tied the all-time ABL record for three-pointers made with 10 in the game. Making this performance even more impressive was that Graham only made three free throws, as the majority of his baskets came from the perimeter, or via daredevil drives.
The Heat needed every single point of Graham to defeat a Wolf Warriors squad playing with confidence after an ego-boosting victory over Hong Kong Eastern. After a first quarter that saw the Heat take the lead, they become cold in the second quarter, giving Macau a chance to strike. A whopping 19-1 run in the middle of the period gave the Wolf Warriors a double-digit advantage, with the final unanswered field goal coming from Hu Yue with 4:32 remaining.
With another double-digit facing the Heat, and the specter of losing a third straight game looming, the Heat played desperate basketball in the second half. They battled the Wolf Warriors to a standstill in the third quarter, entering the final period only down by 6, 74-68.
That gave Graham enough of a cushion to get going. The former Arizona State Sun Blue Devil scored a whopping 23 points in the final period alone, all but dragging his team to the forefront. It was Graham that led the charge, and his dunk in the final two minutes gave Saigon the lead once again, which they would no longer relinquish. So impressive was Graham that 10 of his 23 points in the period came in the last two minutes, singlehandedly preventing any hopes of a Wolf Warriors comeback.
Helping out Graham was Scott Thompson, who played the entire ballgame and tallied 24 points, 8 rebounds, and 5 steals. Morakinyo Williams had his best game of the season, with 10 points, 9 rebounds, and 4 assists. Thanh Tam Dinh chipped in with 11 points off the bench.
Steven Thomas led the Wolf Warriors with a season-high 25 points, along with 19 rebounds, 4 assists, and 3 steals. Julian Boyd had a quiet 13 points, while Mike Bell was even more silent with only 6 points on 2 of 5 from the field.
The win pushes the Heat into 8th place, with a 2-4 record. The Wolf Warriors fall to 9th, with a 4-8 record. Saigon will host the Formosa Dreamers on January 18 at the CIS Arena, while the Wolf Warriors will be in action on January 21 versus the Macau Black Bears.