2015-16Top 16Round 14
April 08, 2016 CET: 19:00
Local time: 19:00 DRAZEN PETROVIC ZAGREB

Cedevita follows Pullen to season-closing home win

Cedevita Zagreb concluded a fine Euroleague season by proving it can win at home as well as it did on the road earlier by taking an 83-62 blowout from playoff-bound Crvena Zvezda Telekom Belgrade on Friday. After beating Fenerbahce Istanbul by 30 two weeks ago, it was Cedevita's second consecutive home win by more than 20 points over a playoff-bound team. The winners finished their first Top 16 with a 4-10 record in Group E. Zvezda's record dropped to 7-7 but didn't affect its fourth-place finish and pairing with Group F winner CSKA Moscow in the playoffs next week. Zvezda's highlight was the return of team captain Luka Mitrovic, who missed every previous Euroleague game this season except the very first of the regular season with a knee injury. Jacob Pullen came of Zvezda's bench to hit 4 three-pointers for a team-high 22 points in under 20 minutes on court. Big men Luka Zoric and Miro Bilan scored 12 each while Luka Babic had 10. Zvezda's top gun was also a reserve, Vladimir Stimac, who had a double-double of 18 points and 11 rebounds. Tarence Kinsey followed with 11 and Maik Zirbes with 10. It marked Zvezda's third consecutive loss by 19 points or more, but this one was played without the team's leading scorer and shot blocker, forward Quincy Miller.

First quarter: Cedevita, Pullen blast off

Babic put his head down for a driving layup that was answered by Nemanja Dangubic for Zvezda. Between a free throw and a goal-tended basket by Bilan, Vasilije Micic hit a triple for Zvezda as the teams were tied 5-5. James White buried a jumper for Cedevita, but Bilan's unsportsmanlike foul let Zirbes tie it 7-7 with free throws. Marko Arapovic joined the Cedevita scorers with a hook shot before Bilan tipped in a miss for an 11-7 difference. Cedevita kept pouring it on with a triple from Nemanja Gordic before Mitrovic finished a nice inbounds play for Zvezda to make it 14-9. James White got that basket back for the hosts and then Pullen entered to blast a three-pointer for the first double-digit lead, 19-9. A timeout did nothing to slow Cedevita and especially Pullen, who pulled the trigger on back-to-back triples and drove for a layup before White made a nifty move inside to rocket the difference to 29-12 after 10 minutes.

Second quarter: Hosts stay strong

Pullen stayed hot with a finger-roll layup to open the second quarter before Stefan Jovic fed Stimac for a layup. Zoric get a similar feed from White to join Cedevita's scoring column, then he doubled-down with a baseline jumper. When White went coast-to-coast with a rebound, it was suddenly 37-14 and Zvezda needed to talk it over. Pullen fed Zoric for a slam right after the timeout but Branko Lazic did the same for Stimac. After Fran Pilepic joined Cedevita's scorers, Marko Simonovic did the same for Zvezda, but from downtown, to make it 41-19. Simonovic was next to score, again from three-point distance, though from the opposite wing, but Babic hit 2 for 2 free throw in response at 43-23. Stimac backed down for one basket and put back a teammate's miss to lower the difference to 43-27. An acrobatic tip-in by Arapovic and another by Bilan were sandwiched around a jumper by Kinsey. But when Bilan scored again with ease, the lead was back up to 20 points, and Pullen did the honors of blasting his fourth three-pointer on the halftime buzzer for a 52-31 difference at the break.

Third quarter: Zvezda can't rally

Kinsey opened the second-half scoring from the lane. White connected again with Zoric for an easy Cedevita basket. Kinsey danced through the defense to get another one for the visitors, but his foul let Babic convert a three-point play at the other end to make it 57-35. Zirbes put back a miss for Zvezda but Babic matched those points at the foul line. Zoric hit a turnaround jumper as Cedevita took another high lead, 24 points, at 61-37. Zirbes tried to spark the visitors, but Zoric made a huge block before downing 2 free throws to which Babic added a pair of his own. Stimac returned to convert a three-point play in side, but Arapovic answered with a jumper. Kinsey did the same for Zvezda before Bilan's free throw finished the third-quarter 68-45.

Fourth Quarter: Cedevita takes it to the finish

Gordic made a nice assist Karlo Zganec for another high lead to open the final quarter. Nikola Rebic and Kinsey answered back for Zvezda, but with their big edge, the hosts were content to trade baskets, and Gordic obliged. Pullen returned with a strong three-point play. Stimac and Rebic kept up the fight for Zvezda, but only when Dangubic broke free for a fastbreak layup could the visitors get the difference under 20 points again, 75-56, and by that time, there were only 4 minutes left. Pullen had another three-point play in him for an 81-56 lead, more than enough for Cedevita to end its solid season on a high note while Zvezda went home to regroup for its playoff series starting Monday on the road against CSKA Moscow.

Jacob Pullen - Cedevita Zagreb - EB15
Friday, April 8, 2016
Euroleague.net
Referees: PEREZ PEREZ, MIGUEL (ESP), LOTTERMOSER, ROBERT (GER), SHEMMESH, SEFFI (ISR)
Attendance: 1497
By Quarter1234
Cedevita Zagreb29231615
Crvena Zvezda Telekom Belgrade12191417
End of Quarter1234
Cedevita Zagreb29526883
Crvena Zvezda Telekom Belgrade12314562
Cedevita Zagreb
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
0 PULLEN, JACOB 19:26 22 4/4 4/7 2/2   1 1 2 3 2     1 7 29
4 WHITE, JAMES 21:32 8 4/6       3 3 3 1       2 1 12
6 KATIC, TONI 13:31 1 0/1 0/1 1/2   2 2 1         1 1 1
8 PILEPIC, FRAN 17:06 4 1/1 0/1 2/2   3 3     1     1 1 5
9 BABIC, LUKA 24:08 10 2/4 0/1 6/9   4 4 2         1 7 16
11 ZGANEC, KARLO 14:37 2 1/3       1 1     3     4   -6
15 BILAN, MIRO 20:07 12 4/6   4/6 2 4 6 1 1 2 1   3 6 18
18 MAZALIN, LOVRO 5:37           1 1   1 1     1    
20 GORDIC, NEMANJA 18:40 6 1/2 1/2 1/2   2 2 3 1 4     3 1 3
21 ZORIC, LUKA 15:57 12 5/8   2/2   4 4 2   1 1   3 2 14
35 ARAPOVIC, MARKO 29:19 6 3/6     1 2 3     2     3 3 4
Team             4 4               4
Totals 200:00 83 25/41 5/12 18/25 3 31 34 14 7 16 2 0 23 29 100
        61% 41.7% 72%
Head coach: MRSIC, VELJKO
Min: Minutes played; Pts: Points; 2FG M-A: 2-point Field Goals (Made-Attempted); 3FG M-A: 3-point Field Goals (Made-Attempted); FT M-A: Free Throws (Made-Attempted); Rebounds: O (Offensive), D (Defensive), T (Total); As: Assists; St: Steals; To: Turnovers; Bl: Blocks (Fv: In Favor / Ag: Against); Fouls: Cm (Commited), Rv (Received); PIR: Performance Index Rating
Crvena Zvezda Telekom Belgrade
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
1 KINSEY, TARENCE 26:41 11 5/11 0/2 1/2   1 1 1 1 3     2 1 1
4 REBIC, NIKOLA 10:00 5 2/3 0/2 1/2   1 1 3 1       1 1 6
6 DANGUBIC, NEMANJA 29:05 4 2/4 0/5     2 2 2   3     3 1 -4
9 MITROVIC, LUKA 11:39 3 1/4   1/2 1 3 4     2     3 3 1
10 LAZIC, BRANKO 22:57   0/1 0/1   1   1 2 2 1     3 2 1
12 SIMANIC, BORISA 8:06 2 1/1 0/2     1 1     1     1   -1
13 MICIC, VASILIJE 16:17 3 0/3 1/3   1 2 3 5   1   1 2 1 3
15 TEJIC, MARKO 4:31     0/1     1 1           1   -1
19 SIMONOVIC, MARKO 17:01 6   2/6     2 2     1     2   1
24 JOVIC, STEFAN 13:43     0/1     2 2 1   2     4 1 -3
33 ZIRBES, MAIK 20:19 10 3/4   4/6 2   2 1   1   1 3 7 12
51 STIMAC, VLADIMIR 19:41 18 7/10   4/5 4 7 11   1       4 6 28
Team           1 2 3     2         1
Totals 200:00 62 21/41 3/23 11/17 10 24 34 15 5 17 0 2 29 23 45
        51.2% 13% 64.7%
Head coach: RADONJIC, DEJAN

Head Coaches

MRSIC, VELJKO
Cedevita Zagreb
"We deserved this win. We played great on offense, especially in the first half and in the second half we were a little tired because we also played games on last Sunday and last Tuesday. I am happy with the way we played in the Euroleague. We finished the season with four wins in the Top 16 and that is a good result, considering our problems with injuries during the season."
RADONJIC, DEJAN
Crvena Zvezda Telekom Belgrade
"We have had problems with injuries, but I can’t be happy with the way we played tonight. Cedevita controlled most of the game and we must prepare ourselves for the upcoming games. We will play against CSKA on Tuesday and I hope we will be fully healthy for that game. "

Players

BABIC, LUKA
Cedevita Zagreb
"This was a nice finish of our Euroleague season. We played really well tonight and we approached this game the right way right from the start. Our coach wanted us to give our best and I thought we played well. We won our last two home games in the Euroleague and that is great.”
MITROVIC, LUKA
Crvena Zvezda Telekom Belgrade
"I would like to congratulate to Cedevita. We weren’t focused on this game right from the start. We have some problems, but we need to start to play as a team because we have the most important games of the season in front of us."