Zalgiris beats Bamberg behind dynamite Dentmon
Zalgiris improved its chances to reach the Top 16 from Group B by downing Brose Baskets Bamberg 91-81 in front of 10,000 fans at Zalgirio Arena on Thursday. Zalgiris tied with Brose Baskets in the group standings at 2-3. Justin Dentmon paced the winners with 24 points on 6-of-6 three-point shooting and 9 assists. Vytenis Lipkevicius and Robertas Javtokas each added 12 points, while Ksistof Lavrinovic had 11 for Zalgiris. Javtokas and Paulius Jankunas pulled down 9 boards apiece, helping Zalgiris outrebound Bamberg 43-24. Jamar Smith and Rakim Sanders led Bamberg with 18 points apiece. Zach Wright and Sharrod Ford each had 10 for the guests. Dentmon, Lipkevicius and a late three-pointer by Sarunas Jasikevicius allowed Zalgiris to get a 23-16 lead after 10 minutes. Back-to-back triples by Arturas Milaknis boosted the hosts' lead to 39-26, but Sanders and Wright fueled a 0-13 run that tied the game, 39-39, at halftime. Javtokas took over after the break with 10 third-quarter points and got plenty of help from Jankunas and Dentmon to give Zalgitis a 69-54 margin. Bamberg managed to get within 82-77 but Dentmon and Lipkevicius stepped up in crunch time to lead Zalgiris to a well-deserved win.
First quarter: Big men give Zalgiris the lead
Anton Gavel got Bamberg going with a three-pointer. Paulius Jankunas split free throws and Marty Pocius struck from downtown to give Zalgiris its first lead, 4-3. Justin Dentmon shined with a fast break layup, but Zalgiris committed 5 early turnovers. Maik Zirbes rescued the guests with a reverse layup that Jankunas erased with a turnaround jumper, good for 8-5 Zalgiris edge. Dentmon ignited the crowd with a wild three-pointer. Zack Wright scored down low, but a corner triple by Vytenis Lipkevicius boosted the hosts' margin to 14-7. Tadas Klimavicius shined with a fast break dunk that Sharrod Ford bettered with a three-point play. John Goldsberry struck from downtown to bring the guests closer, 16-13. Ksistof Lavrinovic stepped up with a put-back basket and free throws and a catch-and-shoot triple by Sarunas Jasikevicius made it a double-digit game, 23-13. Goldsberry answered from downtown to keep Bamberg within 23-16 after 10 minutes.
Second quarter: Late run, steals keep Bamberg alive
Both teams struggled to score early in the second quarter until Ford stepped up with a big basket off the baseline. Siim-Sander Vene shined with a put-back basket, which a red-hot Ford improved upon with a three-pointer that brought Bamberg within 25-21. Lavrinovic answered from downtown and Dentmon fired in another one from beyond the arc to restore a 31-21 Zalgiris margin. Dentmon banked in a driving shot, but a stop-and-pop triple by Jamar Smith kept Bamberg within 33-24. Gavel shined with a coast-to-coast layup off a steal that Arturas Milaknis bettered with back-to-backs corner three-pointers - exactly from the same spot. Rakim Sanders answered from downtown, however, for a 39-29 score. Wright took over with an acrobatic layup, which Gavel followed with a fast break basket to bring Bamberg back to life, 39-33. Wright kept pacing Bamberg with a wild slam before he sent a behind-the-back assist to Smith. Sanders scored off another steal to cap a 0-13 run which tied the game, 39-39, at halftime.
Third quarter: Jankunas, Javtokas inspire Zalgiris
Robertas Javtokas scored around the basket right after the break and Pocius struck from downtown to restore a 44-39 Zalgiris margin. Javtokas kept pushing the hosts with an alley-oop tip-in and a reverse layup by Lipkevicius capped a 9-0 Zalgiris lead. Zirbes and an unstoppable Javtokas traded layups. A three-pointer by Dentmon ignited the crowd at 53-41. Casey Jacobsen answered from downtown - his first points. Lipkevicius shined with a finger-roll layup in penetration and a driving basket by Jankunas made it a 13-point game. Smith tried to change things with a jumper that Jankunas matched with free throws. Philipp Neumann hit foul shots, but a three-pointer by Dentmon and a dunk by Javtokas broke the game open, 65-48. Bamberg called timeout but Dentmon soon gave Zalgiris another game-high lead, 67-49. Smith swished a triple and Sanders slammed off a steal, but Jankunas kept Zalgiris way ahead, 69-54, at the end of the quarter.
Fourth quarter: Bamberg tries, Zalgiris seals win
Smith buried another three-pointer early in the fourth quarter and Sanders nailed a six-meter jumper to give Bamberg some hope at 69-59. Zalgiris tried to use longer possessions, but could not find the way to the basket. Zalgiris called timeout and Lavrinovic rescued the hosts with a three-point play, however consecutive layups by Gavel and Wright brought Bamberg even closer, 73-63, with less than six minutes to go. Sanders shined with a fast break layup that Pocius matched at the other end. Sanders did even better with a bomb from downtown, 75-68. Lavrinovic stepped up with a second-chance basket that Ford erased with a tip-in. Jasikevicius fed Lipkevicius for a corner three-pointer that sealed the outcome, 80-70, with over two minutes left. Wright scored again and free throws by Sanders brought Bamberg within 80-74, but Pocius and Dentmon made sure that Zalgiris held on for a hard-fought and well-deserved win.
Thursday, November 14, 2013