Zalgiris defeats Buducnost to stay perfect on the road
Zalgiris Kaunas maintained its perfect record on the road with a battling 60-72 victory at Buducnost VOLI Podgorica, improving the Lithuanians to 3-3 while Buducnost remains in search of its first win. On a night which saw both teams struggle offensively, Brandon Davies shone for the victorious team, scoring 20 points and grabbing 5 rebounds. Antanas Kavaliauskas provided 12 points and 5 boards, while Nate Wolters combined 10 points with 6 assists. Only one Buducnost player scored in double figures, with Alen Omic netting 16 points and grabbing 6 rebounds.
Big men were in the main roles on both ends of the floor early on. Paulius Jankunas had a three-point play and Davies a pair of dunks to open a 7-11 lead. Omic and Earl Clark scored first the 8 points for Buducnost, before a triple from Edwin Jackson cut the deficit to 11-14. Jankunas and another big man, Kavaliauskas, made sure Zalgiris held a 15-18 edge after 10 minutes, before Marius Grigonis hit from downtown early in the second quarter to open it to 17-23. However, Omic and Nemanja Gordic, who hit one from behind the arc, helped the hosts tie things at 27-27 with 3 minutes left in the half, and the teams went into halftime locked at 33-33. Buducnost took its first lead of the game with a layup by Omic, 38-36, but the visitors replied with a 2-9 run as Wolters scored 5 points, Davies made a steal and dunk and Aaron White threw down an alley-oop. A low-scoring end to the third quarter saw Zalgiris extend its lead through a series of free throws, and the margin stayed around ten points for much of the final period as both teams failed to find offensive fluidity. Davies scored twice in quick succession in response to a triple from Coty Clarke, and then netted again after Nikola Ivanovic struck from deep. The home team never got closer than 8 and the game had a fitting finish with another basket from Davies as Zalgiris eased home.
Davies shows up in crunch time
Zalgiris was able to fend off Buducnost’s attempts to come back in the fourth quarter mainly thanks to solid defense and an outstanding Davies, who netted 10 of his 20 points and took 4 of his 5 rebounds in the final ten minutes.
Long-range shooting woes
Both teams struggled for accuracy from long-range, with Buducnost making only 6-of-20 three-point attempts (30%) while Zalgiris fared even worse, completing just 4 of its 18 shoots from downtown (22.2%). No player on either team scored more than one three-pointer on the night.
Buducnost struggles from foul line
A significant factor in the outcome was differing fortunes from the foul line. Buducnost went 8-of-17 on free throws (47.1%) while Zalgiris was much more accurate, missing only one foul shot all night (16-of-17).
In Round 7 both teams will play on home floor. Buducnost will host KIROLBET Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz on Thursday, while Zalgiris will welcome FC Barcelona Lassa a say later.
Friday, November 9, 2018