Taylor leads Bayern Munich over Zalgiris
Bayern Munich defeated Zalgiris Kaunas 79-73 to claim sole possession of fourth place in Group F. The victory was Bayern’s second straight win and improved the team’s record to 4-4. It wasn’t easy, however, the hosts trailed for much of the first three quarters before turning it on late to pull away with a 79-73 fourth quarter. Bryce Taylor scored 11 of his game-high 22 points in the final 10 minutes to pace the winners. John Bryant added 11 points and 11 rebounds for Bayern, which benefitted from outrebounding Zalgiris 41-28. Malcolm Delaney scored 11 and dished 6 assists, Robin Benzing also scored 11 and Boris Savovic netted 10. Robertas Javtokas paced Zalgiris with 18 points, Sarunas Jasikevicius was perfect on 3 tries from downtown en route to 15 points and 4 assists and Marty Pocius added 11 points in defeat.
First quarter: Zalgiris survive early Dentmon scare, Saras works magic
Head coach Svetislav Pesic didn’t make a change to his starting lineup of Delaney, Nihad Djedovic, Benzing, Deon Thompson and Bryant. Zalgiris head coach Saulius Stombergas also sent out the same starting give with Justin Dentmon, Pocius, Vytenis Lipkevicius, Paulius Jankunas and Javtokas. Zalgiris saw playmaker Dentmon go down with a right knee injury after just 51 seconds of action, with Stombergas having to bring in 21-year-old Vytenis Cizauskas, who turned the ball over his first time on offense. Javtokas gave Kaunas the lead on a three-point play. Munich failed to convert on its first three possessions and finally got on the scoreboard with Djedovic’s three. Pocius answered with a triple from the left corner and a lay-in for a 5-8 advantage. Benzing’s hook shot knotted the game at 8-8. Tadas Klimavicius came off the bench to score inside and Dentmon returned to the court along with Sarunas Jasikevicius. The wily veteran picked the Bayern defense apart, finding Klimavicius wide open triple, feeding Javtoktas for a driving dunk down the lane and a layup for Klimavicius for a 14-17 advantage. Munich stayed in the game with free throws by Savovic, Taylor and Benzing, making it 16-17. Jasikevicius made two foul shots himself and then nailed a three from the right wing to increase the margin to 16-22. Taylor hit two more free throws and then a dunk to trim the gap to 20-24 after one quarter.
Second quarter: Bayern gets close, but unable to take lead
Yassin Idbihi’s tip-in gave Bayern the first score of the quarter and Jankunas hit his first points with a jumper off the glass. Taylor’s free throws got Munich to within 24-26. But Pocius hit a driving layup and then got out on the break for a layup for a 24-30 Zalgiris lead and a Bayern timeout. Bryant cut into the gap with a three-pointer and Delaney followed shortly thereafter with a triple of his own to get the hosts within 32-34. Javtokas answered at the other end with a three and Cizauskas knocked down a long ball as well for a 32-40 Zalgiris lead. Chevon Troutman came off the Munich bench for two baskets on the break and Bryant added a score inside as Bayern trailed just 38-40 at the intermission.
Third quarter: Munich takes lead, then suffers scoring drought
Delaney missed a three-pointer that would have given Bayern its first lead only to see Dentmon nail a triple instead. Benzing got Munich on the scoreboard in the second half and Savovic’s hook went down to make it 42-43. But Savovic travelled as he tried again to give Munich the lead before Dentmon’s foul shots gave Kaunas a 42-45 advantage. Bryant hit a fall-away jumper and Benzing turned a turnover into a fast break layup as Munich finally nosed ahead for the first time at 46-45. Lipkevicius answered with a three, but Benzing came right back at the other end for a triple and a 49-48 edge. It was a 4-point cushion after a Taylor triple. Munich’s offense stalled and Javtokas scored inside. Jasikevicius made two free throws to tie the game at 52-52. Munich’s offense continued to struggle while Arturas Milaknis nailed a three for a 52-55 Kaunas cushion before Jasikevicius added a baseline jumper and Klimavicius made two free throws to give Kaunas a 52-59 advantage thanks to Munich going the final 5:08 minutes of the quarter without a point.
Fourth quarter: Taylor’s 11 points pave way for Munich
Troutman started the fourth quarter with two missed free throws and the rest of the team caught the shooting flu, missing the next five shots until Taylor knocked down a three. Bryant followed with a bank-shot to trim the margin to 57-59. Munich reclaimed the lead with a three-point play by Delaney. Klimavicius finally got Kaunas’s first point on a free throw with 6:43 left to play. Bayern found itself in the bonus with more than six minutes remaining and Savovic made two foul shots for a 62-60 lead only to see Dentmon drain a triple from the right side to pull ahead. Taylor threw down a dunk and then after Javtokas missed a reverse layup, Taylor set up and drained a wide-open three from the right side for a 67-63 cushion - and a Zalgiris timeout. Jasikevicius would not let Kaunas die, nailing a three and Javtokas hit twice in the paint to keep Kaunas within 1. Taylor continued his superb game with a jumper from the corner and then Delaney buried a straight-on triple to extend the advantage to 76-70. Dentmon fouled out and was hit with a technical foul with 1:36 remaining, Taylor stepped up to hit the free throw for a 7-point advantage. Bryant converted on the ensuing possession to increase the gap to 79-70. Jasikevicius added a three in the final minute, but it wasn’t enough to get back into the game.
Friday, February 28, 2014