Baskonia routs Brose for fourth straight win
Baskonia Vitoria Gasteiz continued its playoff push with its fourth straight win, a 103-79 rout of visiting Brose Bamberg, on Wednesday night at Fernando Buesa Arena. Baskonia improved to 14-13 and for the first time this season moved into sole possession of eighth place in the standings, while Brose dropped to 10-17 and was mathematically eliminated from playoff contention. Baskonia led from start to finish, establishing a double-digit deficit after only three minutes, and never looked back. Jayson Granger led six Baskonia scorers in double figures with 17 points and 7 assists in 17 minutes. Ilimane Diope scored 16, Janis Timma netted 13, Rodrigue Beaubois had 12, Tornike Shegelia 11 and Vincent Poirier 10. For Brose, Nikos Zisis scored 17 points, Ricky Hickman had 14 and Leon Radosevic scored 10 in the losing effort.
Baskonia stormed out of the gate; Granger hit a triple after only 8 seconds and after baskets from Poirier and Timma, Granger made it 10-0 with a basket-plus-foul. Zisis hit a jumper to open Brose’s account, but back-to-back threes from Granger and Timma helped make it 18-4. Zisis knocked down a three for the visitors, but Matt Janning bettered it with a triple-plus-foul to extend the margin to 22-7. Brose managed to cut the deficit just a bit late in the first quarter, with Aleksej Nikolic hitting from the outside, and Augustine Rubit from the inside, but Diop’s dunk at the end of the first, and Shengelia’s triple to open the second quarter extended Baskonia’s advantage to 30-14. Radosevic and Luka Mitrovic each scored twice from close range for the visitors, including the latter’s three-point play that cut it to 32-22, but Shengelia had a triple and Poirier a dunk that restored a 16-point lead. Patricio Garino’s three-point play made it 41-24, but Hickman and Zisis each hit a three-pointer on the other side. Brose played along with up-tempo basketball and after Diop scored a basket-plus foul for the hosts, Hickman hit another three-pointer on the other end. Dorell Wright had a pair of tough runners for the visitors with Luca Vildoza sinking Baskonia’s eighth triple in between, making it 50-39 at halftime.
Granger needed less than two minutes to score 8 points in the third quarter, including a three-point play and a three-pointer, before he dished for a triple from Beaubois, which opened 61-43 margin. Radosevic scored twice for Brose, but another three from Beaubois made it 66-46 midway through the third as Baskonia assumed full control. The pace slowed down for a moment, with both teams going to the free throw line often, before Vildoza’s triple and Timma’s fastbreak layup opened a 75-50 margin. The hosts did not stop there, as Beaubois hit a jumper and Shengelia had a three-point play to make it 80-52 after 30 minutes. Diop scored twice at the start of the fourth to make it 86-53. With the game out of hand, Zisis, Hickman and Lucca Stiager each hit a three-pointer for the visitors, but it was too little, too late for any sort of a comeback.
Wednesday, March 21, 2018