2020-21Regular SeasonRound 17
December 29, 2020 CET: 20:00
Local time: 20:00 MERCEDES-BENZ ARENA

Zalgiris beats ALBA away to extend streak

Zalgiris Kaunas overcame offensive struggles to extend its winning streak to five games by knocking off host ALBA Berlin 71-74 on Tuesday. Zalgiris hit just 5 three-pointers – none in the game's first 19 minutes – but scored enough when it counted as Nigel Hayes nailed 3 triples in scoring a team-high 18 points for to lift his team's record to 10-6. Joffrey Lauvergne picked up 16 points and 7 rebounds and Marius Grigonis scored 8 of his 12 points in the final 3 minutes for the winners. Simone Fonteccehio paced ALBA with 14 points while Niels Giffey, Tim Schneider and Luke Sikma all had 11 points. Sikma left the game with a leg injury with 9 minutes left and didn't return for ALBA, which suffered its third straight loss to fall to 6-10.

Grigonis opened the scoring for Zalgiris while Fontecchio did so for ALBA. Lauvergne and Sikma swapped 4 points each and Fontecchio's second score gave ALBA its first lead, 8-6. Both teams were playing hard-nosed defense, with Zalgiris going more than 6 minutes without a basket but still evening the score at 10-10 on Rokas Jokubaitis's free throws. ALBA managed to grab a 14-12 after 10 minutes. Jokubaitis's layup soon pushed Zalgiris back ahead 14-15 but Fontecchio hitting the game's first three-pointer to start a 10-0 ALBA run to a 25-17 lead. Lauvergne's tip-in stopped that surge only to see Giffey hit from deep and Maodo Lo's three-point play made it a double-digit ALBA advantage, 33-23. Lauvergne scored twice for Zalgiris and assisted Hayes's three-pointer – Zalgiris's first – on the way to a 37-31 score at intermission. Hayes hit twice from downtown while scoring Zalgiris's first 8 points after the break to make it 41-39. Lauvergne threw down a pair of alley-oop dunks and Paulius Jankunas pushed Zalgiris ahead 43-46. Augustine Rubit added 2 baskets as Zalgiris stretched the difference to 48-54 after 30 minutes.

Sikma opened the fourth-quarter scoring but Hayes followed with 5 points as the Zalgiris lead grew to 50-59. ALBA responded with 7 points including Schneider's three-pointer at 57-59. Grigonis scored back-to-back baskets before Giffey's put-back made it 65-67. Arturas Milaknis punched back with a three-pointer only to see Schneider convert an and-on basket before Grigonis calmly drained 2 of 2 foul shots with 13 seconds to play for a 68-72 Zalgiris lead. Schneider would not let ALBA die, hitting a corner triple to make it a one-point game, 71-72, with 4.7 seconds left. But Grigonis added 2 more free throws with 3.5 seconds remaining to ice the game.

ALBA without sideline leader

ALBA dealt with a bout of COVID-19 cases early in the season and had to do without its head coach for this game as Aito Reneses Garcia tested positive for COVID-19 over the weekend. Israel Gonzalez was filling in for the veteran play-caller.

Finally a road win

The two teams had faced off six times in the EuroLeague this century coming into the game, but each time the home team won. That is until Zalgiris got the job done on the road in the German capital.

Telling numbers

Despite hitting just 5-of-15 three-pointers (33.3%), Zalgiris connected on 58.5% of its two-pointers while holding ALBA to just 47.9% from close range. Both teams committed 16 turnovers but Zalgiris turned them into 18 points compared to 12 for the hosts.

Next games

ALBA's next contest will be on January 5 as it hosts TD Systems Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz in a Round 5 make-up game. Zalgiris will play its next contest at home as it welcomes Khimki Moscow Region on January 8 in Round 18 action.

Paulius Jankunas - Zalgiris Kaunas - EB20
Tuesday, December 29, 2020
Euroleague.net
Referees: VYKLICKY, ROBERT; PASTUSIAK, PIOTR; OBRKNEZEVIC, UROS
Attendance: 0
By Quarter1234
ALBA Berlin14231123
Zalgiris Kaunas12192320
End of Quarter1234
ALBA Berlin14374871
Zalgiris Kaunas12315474
ALBA Berlin
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
0 LO, MAODO 19:47 9 4/6 0/2 1/1   1 1 3 1 2     2 4 10
5 GIFFEY, NIELS 21:00 11 4/7 1/2   4 3 7 1   2 1 1 2 1 12
6 DELOW, MALTE 10:13 2 1/2           1   1     2 1  
9 MATTISSECK, JONAS 20:56     0/1     1 1     1     3 1 -3
10 SCHNEIDER, TIM 17:04 11 2/5 2/2 1/1 3 3 6 2 2 1     3 1 15
16 NIKIC, KRESIMIR DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
19 OLINDE, LOUIS 14:23 2 1/4 0/2     1 1     1   1 4 1 -7
20 FONTECCHIO, SIMONE 24:07 14 4/9 1/2 3/4 2 3 5 4 2 3 1 2   2 16
32 THIEMANN, JOHANNES 24:01 2 0/4 0/2 2/2 3 3 6   1 3   1 2 3  
33 GRANGER, JAYSON 30:34 9 3/6 1/4     2 2 5   1     1 3 11
43 SIKMA, LUKE 17:55 11 4/5 1/2 0/1   2 2 5 3 1   1 2 2 16
Team           2 1 3               3
Totals 200:00 71 23/48 6/19 7/9 14 20 34 21 9 16 2 6 21 19 73
        47.9% 31.6% 77.8%
Head coach: GARCIA RENESES, AITO
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
Zalgiris Kaunas
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
0 WALKUP, THOMAS 23:26 1 0/2 0/3 1/2   4 4 4 2 2     3 4 4
1 BLAZEVIC, MAREK DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
4 LEKAVICIUS, LUKAS 16:34 4 2/4 0/1     1 1 2 2 3     2 2 3
10 HAYES, NIGEL 33:03 18 4/5 3/4 1/1   6 6   2 1 2   2 1 24
13 JANKUNAS, PAULIUS 17:19 6 1/2 1/1 1/2 1 6 7   1 1 2   1 1 13
16 LUKOSIUNAS, KAROLIS DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
21 MILAKNIS, ARTURAS 21:13 3 0/2 1/2         2     1   2   1
23 GEBEN, MARTINAS 4:11 3 1/1   1/2             1   2 1 2
24 RUBIT, AUGUSTINE 10:43 5 2/3   1/2 1 3 4 1   2   1 4 2 3
31 JOKUBAITIS, ROKAS 20:17 6 2/3 0/1 2/2       2 1 3       3 7
40 GRIGONIS, MARIUS 28:08 12 4/6 0/3 4/4 1 2 3 5   4     2 5 14
77 LAUVERGNE, JOFFREY 25:06 16 8/13   0/1 4 3 7 2       1 1 2 19
Team           1   1     1          
Totals 200:00 74 24/41 5/15 11/16 8 25 33 18 8 17 6 2 19 21 90
        58.5% 33.3% 68.8%
Head coach: SCHILLER, MARTIN

Head Coaches

SCHILLER, MARTIN
Zalgiris Kaunas

"In the first half, we had trouble scoring the basketball. Staying in the game by defending the basketball was extremely important. We figured out how to score the ball a little bit better in the second half and then, obviously, with Luke Sikma going out in the end, that is a big hit for them and a big advantage for us. You have to mention it; it's part of this. And it kind of helped us get over the hump."

"We did a very good job. Zalgiris showed during the last games how good they are. We competed really well, even though we were missing a lot of players and our head coach. Luke Sikma also went out during the game. Nevertheless, we stayed focus and stayed in the game. It was our goal to stop Marius Grigonis as good as we can and we did that for big parts of the game."

GONZALEZ, ISRAEL

Assistant coach ALBA Berlin

"I’m proud of the players. I think we made a big effort once again. It’s difficult when we play so many games in a row without much rest. We started missing players and still had three miracles of beating Valencia, Fenerbahce and Zvezda. But it’s very difficult to keep coming up with miracles. It’s not possible to do more. The players fought and competed until the end of the game, but we were unlucky. Zalgiris played very good in the second half."

Players

FONTECCHIO, SIMONE
ALBA Berlin
"It was an extremely physical game. We played really well defensively, especially during the first half. But we fought until the end and we have to be proud of that. I really hope that Luke’s injury is not too bad. After he went out, every player brought in even more energy, everybody gave everything he had."
LAUVERGNE, JOFFREY
Zalgiris Kaunas
"We played very serious and we fought. It was a tough game. They are a good team. They always play really good. We ended up with the win, so to end the year like this is nice. We were playing good defense [in the first half] but we were having a hard time scoring the ball. It was better in the second half. We just kept going and found the solutions."
HAYES, NIGEL
Zalgiris Kaunas
"It's important to win all types of games. We pride ourselves on defense, playing tough, so most of our games are low-scoring. We came in against a very high-potent offensive team, and the only way to get a win against these guys is to try to make them uncomfortable. Both teams fought really hard and, fortunately, we were able to win. We're doing pretty well right now. It starts with us buying in on defense and giving as close to 100 percent as we can. During the six-game losing streak, there were games when we left and we felt we could have done a little more and we should have done more. And I think that, during this five-game win streak, we are taking that extra step and we see the results in our favor."
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