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Stephenson powers Liaoning Flying Leopards to Terrific 12 title

MACAU -- Lance Stephenson led the Liaoning Flying Leopards' gutsy fightback in the fourth period to outlast a fighting Seoul SK Knights, 83-82, and win the 2019 East Asia Super League Terrific 12 on Sunday at the Tap Seac Stadium.

Stephenson finished with a team-best 34 points, including 14 in the final quarter to help turn a three-point deficit into an 81-77 lead.

SK Knights import Aaron Haynes scored a quick two while Liaoning guard Shiyan Gao responded with two foul shots on the other end as Liaoning held on to 83-79 lead, 6.9 seconds left.

Seoul didn't just throw the towel as big import Jameel Warney buried a top-of-the-key triple with 1.8 ticks left. But time simply wasn't on the SK Knights' side as Liaoning import Salah Mejri held on the ball before throwing a long three-point attempt as the game clock expired.

The sweet-shooting Stephenson was named tournament MVP during the awarding ceremonies with Asia League chief executive officer Matt Beyer handing the trophy.

The Flying Leopards got severely tested by a Knights side that barged into the Finals after nipping the Zhejiang Guangsha Lions on Saturday, 77-76 in their semifinal knockout duel.

Stephenson, just a season removed from NBA, got everything out from his trick bag in ensuring Liaoning won the championship. Aside from leading his team in scoring, he also had eight rebounds and four assists, while lacing his game with four triples.

Mejri chipped in 19 points and seven rebounds, while Mingchen Cong added 13.

Warney led the SK Knights with 36 points and 17 rebounds, while Haynes saw his triple-double effort of 26 points, 13 rebounds and nine assists go down the drain.

THE SCORES

LIAONING FLYING LEOPARDS 83-Stephenson 34, Mejri 19, M. Cong 13, S. Gao 7, T. He 5, Z. Liu 3, X. Li 2, X. Guo 0, H. Wang 0

SEOUL SK KNIGHTS 82-Warney 36, Haynes 26, S. Kim 11, Y. An 4, M. Kim 3, J. Choi 2, S. Choi 0, G. Kim 0