The BTN CLS Knights Indonesia’s magical run continued on Friday night, beating the Westports Malaysia Dragons, 83-68, to remain undefeated in seven straight games.
Coming into MABA Stadium in Kuala Lumpur with only one road win, the Knights proved that they can also play their brand of basketball outside the comfort of their home floor. Wong Wei Long, who has been a thorn in the side of Malaysia throughout his ABL career, emerged as the game’s top scorer with 20 points, knocking down four triples, while adding three rebounds and three assists. World Import Maxie Esho netted 18 points and pulled down nine boards and Darryl Watkins had a double-double of 17 points and 18 rebounds.
The Knights and the Dragons were caught in a nip-and-tuck affair just last Wednesday, with the game coming down to the final minute of action. Late game heroics from Wong, Douglas Herring, and Brandon Jawato gave the Knights a thrilling 73-70 victory. On Friday, the Indonesian team did not let the game go into the deep waters.
It was in the middle quarters when the visiting team created separation. The Knights went into a different gear and outscored the Dragons 19-10 in the second, then 24-14 in the third. A booming triple from Wong capped off a 9-2 run to close out the third frame that helped the Knights build a 64-47 lead.
Determined not to disappoint their home crowd, the Dragons tried to mount a comeback in the final period. Winston Shepard’s layup with six minutes remaining sliced the deficit to eight points. Unfortunately for the Dragons, Herring answered right back with an and-1 play, drawing the foul on Shepard. That proved to be a critical juncture for both squads as Shepard was slapped with a technical foul on that sequence. Herring converted on his free throw and moments later, Wong knocked down his fourth triple of the contest, making it a 14-point game with four minutes left. With the tide completely swung in favor of the Knights, they held on for another victory.
Chris Eversley bounced back from his subpar 11-point previous outing with 22 points to lead the Dragons while also grabbing seven rebounds. Shepard contributed 16 points and the same number of boards. The two World Imports were at the forefront of their team’s scoring but they were also responsible for 11 of 12 turnovers.
The Knights shot 54 percent while holding down the Dragons to 36 percent. They also had the upper hand in rebounding, 40-35, and assists, 21-13.
The once 2-7 Knights are now fifth in the team standings, boasting nine wins. The Dragons, on the other hand, continue to slide down with their fifth straight loss and are now 5-8 for eighth place.