After a painful loss in the opening game, DKV Joventut finally gave its loyal fans a home win as it defeated Partizan Belgrade 82-51 on Wednesday night in Badalona, Spain. Partizan stood equal for the first minutes of the first quarter, but Lubos Barton and Rudy Fernandez led the hosts as they pulled away and never looked back. Joventut climbs to 2-1 in Group B behind only undefeated Panathinaikos. Partizan dropped to 1-2. Steals and turnovers were key factors in the game as the hosts had a strong ratio of 13-7, while Partizan had 3 steals compared to 18 turnovers. Barton led all scorers with 18 points, while Fernandez and Andy Betts finished with 16 apiece and Charles Gaines with 8 points and 9 rebounds for Joventut. For Partizan, Predrag Drobnjak led the way with 14 points and 7 boards while Kosta Perovic had 12 points and 9 rebounds.
Ferran Laviña started the scoring for Joventut, but Perovic soon quited the stands with a slam. Both teams play slow and static basketball, with Barton getting the hosts going with 4 straight points. Partizan's offensive rebounding allowed the team more opportunities as Drobnjak's three-point play was backed by Uros Tripkovic's jumper to get Partizan ahead 6-8. Joventut tried to run and it paid off with a Barton's triple and then Fernandez free throws to make it 13-8. Fernandez quickly added an alley-oop as Partizan struggled to score. Five straight Joventut points, including a Paco Vazquez three, capped a 14-0 run and gave the hosts a comfortable 20-8 lead. Drobnjak finally broke the spell with a layup, as both teams turned to big men to for points. Gaines popped in two free throws to make it 23-12 for Joventut after 10 minutes.
The second quarter started slow, as the defenses dominated for four minutes and the teams added 2 points a piece. Drobnjak and Fernandez soon scored for their respective teams to get things going and then Tripkovic added a jumper, while Joventut's attempts to pick up the pace didn't fare well. The hosts went to full-court pressure on defense and Partizan struggled to move the ball and score, but Joventut could not pull away until Barton appeared again with a bomb from downtown to give Badalona a 32-18 lead. Dusan Kecman copied him from the corner and Nikola Pekovic found the net from the lane to make it 35-23. Each side added another basket before a scoreless final minute sent the teams to the locker rooms with the hosts leading 37-25.
Tripkovic got Partizan back within 9 with three free throws to start the third period, but Betts hit a turnaround jumper to get Joventut going. A couple of fast baskets for Joventut culminated by Elmer Bennett's steal and Betts's layup launched the hosts to a 45-28 lead. Partizan only added points from the charity stripe, and on defense it allowed Joventut space, which it took advantage of. An unsportsmanlike foul on Vonteego Cummings gave the hosts chances for more easy points. Drobnjak didn't throw in the towel and his score made it 51-32. Luka Bogdanovic's triple cooled things down again, but Vazquez replied in the same way and then he stole the ball and went coast-to-coast to keep his team in control 59-42 after 30 minutes.
A three-point play by Gaines opened the fourth with Joventut up by 20. Partizan's offensive woes continued, with its only consistent source of points being free throws, while the hosts ran on offense and controlled the defensive rebounds to grow the lead to 67-44 on a Barton triple and a Fernandez jumper. Perovic scored his 12th point with a turnaround jumper, but Betts added 4 straight points in the lane and then blocked Drobnjak's shot to finally break the game open as Sullivan scored for a 73-48 advantage that saw Joventut cruise to its second win of the season, 82-51.
Wednesday, November 8, 2006