Despite getting impressive performances from the dynamic import duo of McKenzie Moore and KJ McDaniels, the TNT KaTropa were unable to get the win dropping a close 96-91 loss to the Liaoning Flying Leopards in the 2019 East Asia Super League Terrific 12 at the Tap Seac Multisport Pavilion in Macau on Tuesday.
Stephenson displayed his NBA chops early and often, barrelling his way inside at will and connecting on tough drives for a team-high 31 points on 50 percent shooting from the field (10-for-20). The nine-year NBA vet also kept his teammates involved and dished out eight assists and grabbed eight boards. Liaoning also got major contributions from Tunisian slotman Salah Mejri, who punished TNT with 22 points, 11 rebounds, and four rejections.
With Katropa threatening to take over in the fourth, the 29-year-old former Laker singlehandedly took the momentum back for his team with a ferocious one-handed jam. He completed a steal and turned it to a nice assist in the ensuing possession to give the Leopards a comfortable eight-point cushion in the final two minutes of regulation.
Moore impressed for the KaTropa with a game-high 41 points, while McDaniels pitched in 32 points and nine boards.
TNT will have a chance to bounce back on Thursday, September 19, against Japanese ball club Niigata Albirex Basketball.
(Image from EASL)