BC Spartak St. Petersburg became the first team to gran a road win in Group G by downing KK Cibona Zagreb 56-64 in the Croatian capital on Wednesday. Zach Wright and Josh Carter led the winners with 13 points apiece. Loukas Mavrokefalidis added 11 for Spartak. DJ Strawberry led Cibona with 13 points. Ante Masic added 12 for the hosts. Spartak opened the game with an 0-8 run but Masic allowed Cibona to tie it at 13-13. Mavrokefalidis, Josh Carter and Nikita Kurbanov made Spartak get a 30-33 edge at halftime. A 10-0 run helped Cibona to get its first lead, 49-46, late in the third quarter. Spartak limited Cibona to just 3 points in the next 8 minutes, however, as a 3-15 run highlighted by reigning Eurocup MVP Patrick Beverley's three-pointer gave the guests a 52-61 margin, enough to seal the outcome.
Vladimir Dragicevic got Spartak going with a layup, igniting a 0-8 run in which Josh Carter had 4 points. Marin Rozic split free throws but Spartak kept dominating the game with outstanding defense. Masic struck from downtown, however, and a layup-plus-foul by Andrija Zizic brought Cibona within 7-9. Josh Carter scored again and Janis Strelnieks matched Zizic' basket with a layup for a 9-13 Spartak lead. Masic managed to tie the game, 13-13, but Mavrokefalidis singlehandedly put Spartak back ahead, 13-17, after 10 minutes. Davor Kus hit a jumper early in the second quarter but Mavrokefalidis scored again and a three-point play by Wright gave Spartak a 15-22 lead. Pavle Marcinkovic followed a triple with free throws but Josh Carter struck from downtown to give Spartak some fresh air at 20-25. Strawberry scored in the paint and got some help from Zizic to keep Cibona within 24-26. Wright and Demond Carter traded layups and Kurbanov allowed Spartak to get a 26-30 margin. Free throws by Marcinkovic and Kus kept Cibona within 30-31 but Wright scored again for a 30-33 Spartak lead at halftime.
Beverley stepped up with consecutive baskets to give Spartak a 30-37 margin right after the break. Cibona went scoreless for more than 3 minutes. Meanwhile, a layup by Mavrokefalidis and a three-pointer by Kurbanov made it a double-digit game, 32-42. Marin Rozic tried to ignite the hosts' comeback with a layup and Strawberry followed a triple with a layup to give Cibona some hope at 39-44. Strelnieks hit a jumper but he didn't find much help around. Meanwhile, free throws by Masic and Hrvoje Kovacevic started a 10-0 run that Rozic capped with a jumper to give Cibona its first lead of the night, 49-46. Wright and Fedor Dmitriev allowed Spartak to regain a 49-50 edge after 30 minutes. Wright scored again early in the fourth quarter and a layup by Mavrokefalidis boosted the guests' lead to 50-54. Cibona struggled to score right when it matter, as Spartak was all over the place in defense. Meanwhile, Josh Carter and a triple by Beverley broke the game open, 52-59, with over 4 minutes to go. Cibona was limited to just 3 points in 7 minutes and free throws by Masic only brought the hosts within 54-61. Dmitriev and Mavrokefalidis made sure to keep Spartak way ahead until the final buzzer.
Wednesday, November 7, 2012