Unics Kazan rallied from a 10-point second quarter deficit to defeat Hapoel Jerusalem 82-71, and earn a spot in the final game of the Turkish Airlines Euroleague Qualifying Rounds. Unics will play against ASVEL Lyon on Friday at Sleuyter Arena in Ostend, Belgium for a place in the Euroleague regular season. Jerusalem made runs in the second quarter, including a 0-9 spurt for 31-41 lead, but D’Or Fischer and Nikos Zisis got Unics going after the break with a 13-2 run of their own for 48-46. Zisis hit a triple for 58-54 to end the third quarter, and led by Curtis Jerrells, Unics opened the fourth with 9 consecutive points, and never looked back. Fischer finished with 16 points, while Zisis had 15 points and 6 assists. Jerrells also added 15, while James white scored 11, and Keith Langford 10 in victory. Joseph Jones had 12 points for Jerusalem, while Bracey Wright and Derwin Kitchen each contributed with 10.
Langford got things going with a triple, but back-to-back threes from Yotam Halperin and Kitchen put Jerusalem up, and ignited a run capped by a fastbreak bucket from Jones for 5-12. Kostas Kaimakoglou snapped Jerusalem's run with a three-pointer, and after Fischer scored his first basket from close range, Jerrells and White put Unics back in front, 16-14. However, Donta Smith beat the buzzer with a put-back to tie it at 16-16 at the end of the first, and Tony Gaffney and Yaniv Green quickly scored at the start of the second quarter to give Jerusalem new advantage. Gaffney and Green each added another basket from close range, and Green made a basket-plus-free throw as lead reached 22-29. Unics answered with a 9-2 run during which Jerrells hit a triple and a layup to close it to 31-32, but Jerusalem scored 9 consecutive points, including a corner triple from Bar Timor, and margin reached double-digits for the first time, 31-41. Unics, however, did not allow another basket for the remainder of the quarter, and White's driving layup cut it to 35-41 at halftime.
Kitchen opened the third quarter with a triple for Jerusalem, but Fischer sparked a 13-2 run, capped by a long-range shot from Zisis for 48-46. Team started to trade leads as Smith hit from behind the arc, 48-51, but Unics regained the advantage with a three-pointer and a jumper from Zisis, and the same player hit a corner triple in the final seconds of quarter for 58-54 after 30 minutes. White opened the fourth with a three-pointer, and Fischer added a jumper and a shot off the glass. Jerrells scored a fastbreak layup to cap a 12-0 run for 67-54. Gaffney scored inside for Jerusalem but a triple from Jerrells made it the biggest margin of the night, 70-56. Jones scored consecutive jumpers to cut the deficit to 8 points, but another three-pointer from Jerrells got the margin back into the double digits, 73-62. Jerusalem tried to apply defensive half-court pressure, and managed to get to the foul line, but never got closer than 7 points. When Langford hit a triple, and Fischer followed it with a jumper for 80-68 with under 3 minutes to go, it was all but over, and Unics closed it out to join ASVEL Lyon in Friday’s final.
Thursday, September 25, 2014