China pulls away in fourth, claims basketball gold over Iran

JAKARTA - China unleashed a big surge in the second half to top Iran, 84-72, and capture the Asian Games men's basketball gold medal at the Gelora Bung Karno Istora.

The Chinese clawed back from an early 16-point deficit then turned to their outside shooting to pull away in the fourth period and capture their eighth Asiad gold while denying Iran their first.

Abudushalamu Abudurexiti, who played for the Golden State Warriors' NBA Summer League team earlier this year, scored 20 points to lead a balanced China offensive, which also saw Fang Shuo (16 points), Zhao Rui (16) and Zhou Qi (15) hit double digits.

Led by veterans Haddadi and Samad Nikkah Bahrami, Iran surged ahead, 38-22, early in the second period. But China uncorked a 19-4 blast behind the exploits of Abudurexiti to come to within one, 42-41, less than two minutes remaining in the half.

China opened the third period with a 9-0 run to seize the lead which they never relinquished. Iran came to within one at 61-60 early in the fourth on a basket by Haddadi, but Fang, Abudurexiti, and Zhou hit a triple each in a 10-1 blast that gave them their first double-digit lead of the game. Iran never seriously threatened from that point on as China kept hitting timely shots to seal the win.

Haddadi led Iran with 27 points.

Earlier, Korea claimed the bronze medal with an 89-81 decision over Chinese Taipei. Ricardo Ratliffe had 37 points and 17 rebounds as the Koreans fought off a fourth-quarter rally by Chinese Taipei to make it to the podium.