A huge second half from Dan Ewing sparked Asseco Prokom to a 65-61 win over Zalgiris Kaunas on Wednesday evening. After a scoreless first half, Ewing drilled 5 triples in the second en route to 19 points to lead his team to its second straight win in Group B. Prokom trailed by 3 at halftime, but Ewing teamed with Pat Burke to score all the points as the Polish champs opened the third quarter on a 12-0 tear. However Zalgiris didn’t quit and came back to make a game of it. The start of the fourth quarter featured three lead changes and four ties, but again it was Ewing that put Prokom ahead and Zalgiris, which shot a woeful 8 for 19 from the line and committed 21 turnovers, did not have enough left in the end to come back once more. David Logan added 14 points and Ronnie Burrell had 11 and 9 rebounds for the winners. Dainius Salenga led the Lithuanian champs with 17, Jonas Maciulis posted 15 points and 11 rebounds and rookie Zygimantas Janavicius scored 10 in defeat.
Paulius Jankunas scored the game’s first points for Zalgiris before Burrell got the hosts on the board from the line. Burrell and Woods were taking the game inside for their respective teams. Burrell put Prokom up 7-5, but Zalgiris answered with a basket from Jankunas, a Mantas Kalnietis slam and a Salenga three-point play for a 7-12 lead. Pat Burke answered for the hosts and Aleksej Nesovic added a free throw to cap a low-scoring opening period at 10-12.
Nesovic's three-pointer returned the lead to Prokom to open the second quarter, while layups by Filip Dylewics and Logan kept the run going until Burke dunked for a 19-12 advantage after a 9-0 run. Salenga calmed Zalgirs with a big triple to which Maciulis added a layup on a nice spin move. Maciulus came back with a fastbreak triple to get the visitors within a point and repeated his shot from the arc a couple plays later to launch Zalgiris ahead on the scoreboard, 23-25. The Prokom defense broke down as Janavicius went coast-to-coast untouched, while Zalgiris settled into a zone that stalled the hosts. Logan finally broke through for a layup but missed the free throw that came with it, while Loren Woods hit 1 of his 2 foul shots to preserve a 25-28 advantage for Zalgiris at the half.
Ewing finally got on the scoreboard with a triple as the second half got underway. Burke made his presence felt on the offensive glass with follow-up baskets on consecutive possessions to help Prokom establish control. Zalgiris head coach Gintaras Krapikas called for a timeout, but it didn’t change much as Ewing hit another three and Burke cut through the visitors’ defense for a layup that capped a 12-0 run to start the period. Janavicius hit a three to end the Zalgiris drought and Woods added a long jumper as Zalgiris stayed within 37-33. Logan finished a fast break with a slam, but Zalgiris had regained its footing by now as triples by Salenga and Maciulis closed the gap to 2 and Woods tied it at 41-41 from the line. Filip Dylewicz restored Prokom’s slim lead, but another Janavicius triple put the guests on top before a Nesovic free throw made it 44-44 heading into the deciding period.
A Nesovic jumper was matched by a Salenga layup as the score remained knotted. Logan’s layup was followed by one from Kalnietis as neither team could pull away. Maciulis put the visitors ahead with a triple only for Ewing to drill one at the opposite end. Maciulis drew a foul, but missed twice from the line, while at the other end Ewing heated up with a basket and a three that put the Polish champs up 60-53. Zalgiris used another timeout after which Janavicius was fouled. However he missed twice. Jankunas grabbed the rebound and drew a foul, but he only made 1. Prokom kept Zalgiris alive by missing a number of wide-open shots and Salenga gave the visitors hope with a long jumper that made it 62-57. But Ewing's fifth three-pointer of the game with two minutes to go gave Prokom an 8-point lead. Salenga added one last three with 35 seconds left, but there would not be a happy ending for the visitors as prokom ran out the clock and celebrated the win.
Tuesday, November 4, 2008