In a game that had no impact on the Top 16 standings, Lietuvos Rytas put a nice end to its first-ever Euroleague season by downing host GHP Bamberg 56-72 on the road in Germany on Wednesday in the last Group F game for both teams.. L.Rytas finished third in the group with a 3-3 record, while Bamberg dropped to 0-6 but made history by becoming the first German team to make it to the Top 16. Matt Nielsen led the winners with 21 points. Fred House added 18 and 9 rebounds, Sandis Buskevics had 10 points, while Robertas Javtokas grabbed 12 rebounds and had 5 blocks for L.Rytas. Demond Mallet was the only player to score in double digits for Bamberg with 17 points. A 9-2 run which Steffen Hamann capped with free throws gave Bamberg a 37-30 lead at halftime, but L.Rytas used strong defense to win the game in the second half. House and Nielsen combined for 22 points in a game-breaking 6-27 run that bridged the final two quarters and sealed the victory.
Bamberg coach Dirk Bauermann sent out his routine starting five, while Maurice Baker replaced the injured Robert Stelmahers for L. Rytas coach Neven Spahija. Baker scored the first points of the game with a layup over Koko Archibong. Bamberg was down 4-5 when Derrick Phelps and Spencer Nelson both drained three-pointers, shooting the hosts ahead by 11-7 and forcing a timeout for Spahija. After that, Fred House's three-point play and Nielsen's bank shot from close in pushed the visitors back ahead 11-12. When Dickie Simpkins failed to convert twice against Robertas Jaktovas, Nielsen hit 2 free throws to extend the lead for L. Rytas However, Robert Garrett hit a three-pointer with the shot clock winding down, and Steffen Hamann made a layup just before the buzzer to seize a 16-14 advantage for Bamberg after 10 minutes.
House evened things for L. Rytas with a layup to start the second quarter, as both coaches rested their starters. Neither offense could muster much but Mindaugas Lukausis went untouched inside while making an easy layup for a 16-18 visitors' lead. Spahija's team was ahead 18-20, but the L. Rytas bench players couldn't handle the Bamberg. Nelson scored 5 points as Bamberg went on a 10-2 run to bolt aheaad 28-22. L. Rytas had an answer, however. Sandis Buskevics hit a three-pointer and Javtokas dunked and completed a three-point play to forge another tie, 28-28. Then, however, Mallet's 5 points for Bamberg sparked a 9-2 run to finish the second quarter, sending the teams into the dressing rooms with the hosts ahead 37-30.
Mallet gave Bamberg its biggest lead of the game with a layup that made it 39-30. House's breakaway layup pulled L. Rytas back to within 39-34, but dunks by Koko Archibong and Simpkins pushed the lead back up to 9 points, 43-34. From that point until the final buzzer, however, Bamberg would have trouble scoring again. L. Rytas struck with 7 straight points capped by a Simas Jasaitis three-pointer. After a Bamberg timeout, House and Uvis Helmanis exchanged three-pointers for a 46-44 score, but the visitors took control now as Nielsen scored 7 points and Javtokas 4 in a 12-1 run that put L. Rytas ahead 47-56 after three quarters
The fourth quarter started with Lukauskis having to be helped off the court with a right knee injury. Nielsen continued his hot scoring by knifing into the lane for one basket and then draining a three-pointer to make it 47-61. Phelps hit a driving layup and Mallet knocked down a three-pointer to pull Bamberg to within 52-61, but House buried a shot from the ard to which Tomas Delininkaitis soon added his own as L. Rytas took a 69-53 advantage with under 2 minutes to play. Buskevics's three-pointer finished the scoring as well as the Euroleague seasons for L. Rytas and Bamberg with a 56-72 result.
Wednesday, March 29, 2006