Mikh McKinney had a first half to remember as he poured 29 of his game-high 35 points in the first two quarters to lead the Macau Black Bears to a 97-86 win over the Westports Malaysia Dragons, Sunday at the MABA Stadium in Kuala Lumpur.
McKinney finished with a scintillating 13-of-22 shooting from the floor, including five triples. His 35-point total was merely six points shy of his career-high. The versatile guard also ended up with nine rebounds and six assists.
McKinney scorched the net early, scoring his team’s first seven points. He continued to showcase his full offensive arsenal, hurting the Malaysia defense with an array of moves and tough baskets. His scoring spree was punctuated by a half court heave at the buzzer to close out the first 20 minutes of play as the Black Bears built a commanding 58-39 advantage.
The Dragons tried to recover in the second half, opening the third period on a 9-2 run to cut the lead to the nine points. Led by Chris Eversley and Winston Shepard, the home team scored a total of 29 points in the third, to make it a single-digit deficit, 68-77. However, the Dragons could not get the lead with Ryan Watkins and Anthony Tucker keeping them at arm’s length. Even after Eversley knocked down a 3-pointer to make it an eight-point game with less than two minutes to go, it turned out to be the last bucket for Malaysia. The Black Bears finished the game with impenetrable defense and timely free throw shooting.
Eversley’ valiant effort of 28 points and 16 rebounds ending up being all for naught. Shepard contributed 24 points and likewise had a big rebounding game of 15 boards. Malaysia also received a huge boost from the locals as Liang Chuan Yek and Jonathan Wong combined for 26 points in a losing effort.
For the Black Bears, three other players reached double-figures aside from McKinney. Watkins powered his way to a double-double of 26 points and 15 rebounds while Anthony Tucker managed to get 21 points despite going 6-for-21, as well as eight assists. Nathan Yu added 11 points, anchored by three 3-pointers.
Behind McKinney’s spectacular performance, Macau is back above .500 with an 8-7 record. Malaysia, on the other hand, is at 5-9 after dropping its sixth straight game.