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Yao cuts jaw in China's 87-73 win over Lebanon
Updated: 2005-09-14 09:31

DOHA, QATAR -- Pivot Yao Ming had his jaw cut and had four stitches in China's 87-73 victory over Lebanon on Tuesday at the Asian Basketball Championships for men here.

Yao Ming is injured during the 23rd Asian Basketball Championship at Al-Gharrafa hall in Doha, Qatar September 13, 2005. [Reuters]
Ali Fakhreddine crashed down Yao and cut Yao's jaw with his flying elbow 5:10 minutes into the second half when China led by 34-23.

The angry Yao palmed down his blood onto the table of the technical officials for non-call of the play before he left for the locker-room.

The Houston Rockets center returned to the court-side with 1:32 left in the first half and came back to the game in the second half to help China secure a semi-final berth.

China led by 50-27 when Yao was absent in the first half and led as many as 24 points in the fourth quarter to keep the unbeaten record.

In the 2001 version of the tournament in Shanghai, China had a brawl with Lebanon with both teams were punished by FIBA. Yao and other two players of the current Chinese squad, Li Nan and Zhang Jinsong, competed in 2001.

"I don't think we should make fuss (of the affair). It's a basketball game, not a fight game," said forward Du Feng, who had 17 points for China.

Opening the game with a 5-0 start, China held Lebanon by only 11-out-of-42 in the field before leading all the way towards the victory.

In the other group of the top eight, Qatar crushed down South Korea 83-65 to finish atop in Group II. Enditem

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