2021-22Regular SeasonRound 12
November 26, 2021 CET: 19:00
Local time: 19:00 ALEKSANDAR NIKOLIC HALL

UNICS blows past Zvezda in Belgrade

UNICS Kazan led from start to finish, hitting a club-record 15 triples, to run past host Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade 78-98 at the Aleksandar Nikolic Hall on Friday night. It was the sixth win in last seven games for UNICS, which improved to 7-5 on the season, while Zvezda lost its third straight to drop to 4-8 record. UNICS scored the first 8 points of the game and held a double-digit lead in the first quarter. The hosts did get within 3 points in the second quarter but never got closer as UNICS broke the game wide open in the third and led by as many as 25 points in the fourth. John Brown paced the winner with 18 points. Mario Hezonja and Isaiah Canaan scored 17 apiece, while Dmitrii Uzinski scored 11 in the winning effort. Austin Hollins finished with 15 points for the hosts. Nate Wolters had 13, Ognjen Dobric 11 and Nikola Kalinic 10.

UNICS came out red-hot, with Hezonja nailing 2 triples and Uzinskii another to open a 2-11 lead. Kalinic, Wolters and Dobric all scored close-range baskets, getting Zvezda's offense going, but another three from Uzinskii and a jumper from John Brown helped extend the UNICS lead to 10-20. The visitors dominated the boards and held Zvezda to just 1 field goal over 5 minutes of the quarter while a floater from O.J. Mayo and a transition triple from Canaan opened a 12-26 margin. Zvezda finished the first quarter with a dunk from Hollins that made it 16-26. UNICS opened the second with Marco Spissu feeding Tonye Jekiri for a dunk, then Spissu getting a lucky bounce on a triple to help open an 18-33 lead. Zvezda got a boost with a pair of triples from Branko Lazic. A subsequent pair of baskets by Kalinic at the rim cut the deficit to 32-35. Hezonja snapped an 11-0 Zvezda run with a three-pointer, then layups from Uzinskii and John Brown helped UNICS take a 39-47 lead into halftime.

Lazic opened the second half making a layup, but a jumper from John Brown followed by back-to-back triples from Uzinskii and Hezonja made it 41-55. Wolters knocked down a three for the hosts, but a floater from Lorenzo Brown followed by offensive rebounds and close-range baskets from Jekiri and John Brown opened a 44-63 difference midway through the third. A corner triple from Hollins snapped a 3-16 UNICS spurt and sparked a 7-0 run that gave Zvezda life, but the visitors had another answer. John Brown had an easy layup and Spissu hit a triple, but after Dobric answered with a triple, Canaan nailed his back-to-back to make it 55-76 in the final minute of the third quarter. Hollins had a pair of dunks for the hosts, but Canaan scored 8 points for the visitors, including another pair of back-to-back long-range shots, as the lead ballooned to 66-91 midway through the fourth quarter as UNICS cruised the rest of the way.

By the numbers: UNICS's offense dominated in Belgrade

Crvena Zvezda entered the game allowing a league-low 70.6 points, but UNICS shredded the hosts' defense in this game. UNICS scored more than 20 points in each quarter and a season-high 98 total, just one shy of a club record in a road game. UNICS's tally was at 70 points late in the third quarter and the team did not stop scoring until the final 2 minutes of the game.

UNICS not only hit a club-record 15 three-pointers against a Zvezda defense that had allowed just 7.7 triples per game entering this round, but the visitors did it on 46.9% long-range shooting. UNICS was even more deadly from close range, making 71.4% of its two-point shots, the second-best percentage ever for the team in EuroLeague play.

UNICS wins the boards

Zvezda finished with a 10-9 advantage in the offensive rebounds, but it is a deceiving stat. As many as 6 of those 10 offensive rebounds for the hosts came in the fourth quarter, with the game well out of hand. UNICS dominated the boards in the first three quarters. The visitors allowed just 3 rebounds during the first 10 minutes and a total of just 2 in the third quarter. UNICS held 15-25 rebounding advantage going into the fourth quarter. It was a total team effort for the visitors, too. Tonye Jekiri, John Brown and Mario Hezonja had 5 rebounds apiece, while point guards Marco Spissu and Lorenzo Brown each grabbed 4 .

Copycat 0-8 runs to open each half

UNICS opened the game with a 0-8 run, with Dimitrii Uzinskii hitting a triple, followed by a long-range shot from Mario Hezonja and an elbow jumper from John Brown. Another three-pointer by each Uzinskii and Hezonja opened a 6-14 gap and UNICS never relinquished the lead.

Zvezda did get within 32-35 in the second quarter, and scored the first basket of the third to make it 41-47, but the same trio of UNICS players fueled a 0-10 run then to build a double-digit lead. This time, the run started with an elbow jumper from John Brown, before Uzinskii nailed a triple and Hezonja added one of his, as UNICS was on its way to a big lead and an important road win.

Mario Hezonja - UNICS Kazan - EB21
Friday, November 26, 2021
Euroleague.net
Referees: LAMONICA, LUIGI; LEZCANO, LEANDRO; MAJKIC, MARIO
Attendance: 5286 (Tentative)
By Quarter1234
Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade16231821
UNICS Kazan26212922
End of Quarter1234
Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade16395778
UNICS Kazan26477698
Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
3 WOLTERS, NATE 22:04 13 3/7 2/2 1/2       4 1 1     1 3 14
7 DAVIDOVAC, DEJAN 21:06 9 2/2 0/2 5/6 3 1 4   3       3 4 14
9 MITROVIC, LUKA 14:25 5 1/2   3/6   1 1 1   1       3 5
10 LAZIC, BRANKO 13:39 8 1/1 2/3         1   1     2 1 6
12 KALINIC, NIKOLA 25:27 10 4/6 0/1 2/3 1 2 3 4   4   1 3 3 8
13 DOBRIC, OGNJEN 25:25 11 4/6 1/4     2 2 1         1 1 9
14 HOLLINS, AUSTIN 21:21 15 6/6 1/6 0/1 1 4 5 2 1 2     2 2 15
19 SIMONOVIC, MARKO 6:19     0/1           1 1     1   -2
20 IVANOVIC, NIKOLA 9:31 3 0/1   3/4       3   1     2 3 4
27 MARKOVIC, STEFAN 15:08 2 1/1 0/1     1 1 1         4 1  
32 KUZMIC, OGNJEN 25:35 2 1/5   0/2 4 5 9   1   2 1 2 2 7
33 ZIRBES, MAIK DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Team           1   1     1          
Totals 200:00 78 23/37 6/20 14/24 10 16 26 17 7 12 2 2 21 23 80
        62.2% 30% 58.3%
Head coach: RADONJIC, DEJAN
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
UNICS Kazan
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
0 SPISSU, MARCO 15:39 8   2/4 2/2   4 4 5   2     3 2 12
00 BROWN, JOHN 31:21 18 9/12     4 1 5 2 2 1 1   2 2 24
3 CANAAN, ISAIAH 20:45 17 1/2 5/7         1 1 2   2 3 2 11
4 BROWN, LORENZO 24:21 9 3/3 0/4 3/3   4 4 9 1 4     3 5 17
5 BRANTLEY, JARRELL 19:21 9 3/4 0/2 3/4   2 2 1 3       3 3 11
7 TIMMA, JANIS 8:53     0/2   1   1 2         1    
11 HEZONJA, MARIO 28:57 17 0/1 4/7 5/6   5 5 2 2       2 6 25
12 KLIMENKO, ARTEM DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
13 UZINSKII, DMITRII 15:52 11 1/1 3/3     1 1     1     4   7
23 JEKIRI, TONYE 20:25 4 2/4     2 3 5 2     1   2 1 9
32 MAYO, O J 14:26 5 1/1 1/3     1 1     1     1   2
Team           2 1 3               3
Totals 200:00 98 20/28 15/32 13/15 9 22 31 24 9 11 2 2 24 21 121
        71.4% 46.9% 86.7%
Head coach: PERASOVIC, VELIMIR

Head Coaches

RADONJIC, DEJAN
Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade
“UNICS deserved to win tonight, they played a really good game. The beginning was really bad. We were soft on defense. The second quarter was a little bit better, but it was not enough to make a better result. After that, they controlled everything on the court, they played a really, really good game tonight. UNICS is in a good moment lately, and their wins prove that. They beat Milan by almost 30 points, they have a lot of reasons for optimism and can make a great result this season. We could not control their quality tonight. We have to analyze it, find the reason for our mistakes, find the reasons for our bad play. But they have played a fantastic match. Compared to some previous games, we even scored a lot of points, not something you would expect considering how things were on the floor.”
PERASOVIC, VELIMIR
UNICS Kazan

“I think we had the best offensive game in the EuroLeague this season. We scored 15 three-pointers on the road, against the best defensive team in the EuroLeague, which is not usual for us. We played unselfishly; we tried to share the ball; and we had a good day in three-point shots. After that, we created a lot of problems for Zvezda with our switching defense, and we found a way to win the game, which is always difficult here."

“We are in a good moment. We won a few in a row, everyone is full of confidence. But, like one good coach once said, it is not a matter if bad moments will come, but when they will come. They will surely come. We are playing well this time, but we are well aware that in this competition where teams are so even, where there are so many good teams, we could soon have some bad results. Our goal is to fight for the playoffs, because that is our only way to play in the EuroLeague next season. I think we were extremely good today. We were the worst team in three-point accuracy in the first seven or eight games. Zvezda plays excellent defense, and when they pushed us away, they erased our 16-point deficit very quickly. The way we played offensively, it gives me the right to say we caused Zvezda to lose, not their bad performance.”

Players

HEZONJA, MARIO
UNICS Kazan
“We had to clean up our defense [in the second half] a little bit. We did that. It was a little bit sloppy also at the end of the third. But we picked it up. We did what we do. We executed what Coach asks from us offensively, and our defense is our DNA. As long as we keep doing that, we will be alright. Today, it was a very good win for us.”
BROWN, JOHN
UNICS Kazan
“We always want to win, especially away, to start winning away games. That is important, because we are very tough at home. But to come in here and get a victory like we did, it is very important. Everyone is happy about victories, but when tough times come, that's when your true character is showing. I hope we can keep moving.”